Credit: Thinkstock Zecuity, the sumatriptan patch for migraine that was approved by the FDA over two years ago has now been launched and should be finding its way into pharmacies soon. Zecuity is sumatriptan, the same medication as Imitrex, in an iontophoretic transdermal system.
This patch is unlike any other patch on the market. Unlike other patches that sit on the skin while the medication is absorbed, this patch is a proprietary iontophoretic system combining modern electronics with state-of-the-art formulation and pharmaceutics technology. Iontophoresis is a non-invasive method for transporting a molecule through the skin by means of a mild electrical current. The electrical current carries the charged molecule from the patch across the skin. Once across, the drug is rapidly absorbed and distributed systemically.
This type of technology is necessary for sumatriptan because, without the mild electrical current, the sumatriptan molecule is too large to pass through human skin. The patch is work on the upper arm or thigh for four hours, then removed and discarded. During those four hours, the patch delivers 6.5 mg of sumatriptan.
The iontophoretic delivery system not only offers quicker relief than oral medications, it has advantages for other reasons as well. For those experiencing nausea and / or vomiting with migraines, it allows them to avoid oral delivery. Also, some Migraineurs experience gastric stasis during a Migraine attack, which slows the effects of oral medications.
Although sumatriptan has been on the market since 1992, many patients can benefit from this unique delivery system. You can download a discount coupon for Zecuity and get a free migraine kit with an eye mask and ear plugs by registering on the Zecuity web site.
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Han, Da Hee, PharmD. “New Transdermal Delivery System for Migraine Tx Launched.” MPR (Monthly Prescribing Reference.) August 26, 2015.
NuPathe Inc. Press Release. “NuPathe’s Zecuity Approved by the FDA for the Acute Treatment of Migraine.” NuPathe Inc. Conshocken, Pennsylvania. January 17, 2013.
Reviewed by David Watson, MD.
© Teri Robert, 2015. • Last updated August 28, 2015.