Scientists Develop an Ibuprofen Patch to Relieve Pain
Researchers at the University of Warwick in the U.K. say they've invented a patch that allows ibuprofen to enter a person's body without the risks that come with taking the medication orally.
While many people swear by ibuprofen's ability to relieve pain, reduce swelling and lower fevers, there are risks that come with taking it. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently strengthened the warning labels that accompany nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
The new labels warn that such drugs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke--particularly for people who take them over a long period of time--and these events can happen without warning. Ibuprofen can also cause ulcers, bleeding or even create holes in the stomach or intestine.
But the British scientists say that their patch can minimize these risks by delivering the drug at a consistent dose rate.
Working with a company called Medherant, the researchers were able to put significant amounts of ibuprofen into a polymer matrix that adheres the patch to a patient's skin. That enables the the drug to be delivered at a steady rate over a 12-hour period.
It's estimated that the patch could be on the market in two years.