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There are thousands of different medications sold and used across the nation and each one has advantages and disadvantages based on the delivery system. By delivery, we’re talking about whether the drug is taken by pill, capsule, liquid, injection, IV, transdermal patch, sub-lingual, inhaled, or some other method. Some drugs are deactivated by the stomach acids and made completely ineffective, others cause stomach irritation, nausea, diarrhea, constipation or other gastrointestinal problems and can’t be taken orally at all. Then there is the problem with missing doses. Certain medications need to be maintained at a particular blood level to do their job, dropping below that level for a few hours per day could be dangerous or just make the drug useless. For those types of problems the transdermal patch was invented, it has some huge advantages for some drugs and some patients.

Drugs Metabolize Too Quickly

There are a lot of drugs that are very good at what they do but they are metabolized too fast. By metabolize, what we’re talking about is the rate at which the liver, kidneys, or some other organ in the body change the ingredients of a drug into other chemicals and render them useless. This leads to a situation where the patient must take multiple smaller doses of a drug throughout the day in order to maintain a certain blood level that the drug needs to be effective. Studies have shown that the more often a drug needs to be taken in a given day the more likely missed doses or doubled doses will arise.

This is due to many factors, one of which is that some patients, especially the elderly, are taking quite a few medications daily. Some every 4 hours, others every 6, and some once a day, depending. Unless they are very organized it can become a nightmare keeping all of their meds in the right doses all the time. On the other hand, many transdermal patches can be applied once per week and deliver a steady dose of one medication all day every day the entire time.

This helps to eliminate the stomach upset that many drugs can cause, or the ulcers, diarrhea, constipation and other side effects as well since the drug doesn’t pass through the digestive tract all. Plus many drugs have different interactions in the digestive tract in different people based on their particular mix of intestinal flora, or biome. The digestive flora in one individual may deactivate a drug or reduce its dose while in another person not at all.

The Skin Patch Can Take Up To Several Days To Work

Depending on the exact type of medication, it can take up to 3 days to notice the effects of a certain drug, each one can be different. The doctors need to alert patients to this so that they aren’t expecting the quick, 30 minute, response similar to a pill.

The transdermal patch has been shown to be especially good at delivering certain drugs like birth control, pain medications, and blood pressure drugs because of the consistency of the dose. If you’re having problems with a certain drug it doesn’t hurt to ask if it comes in a fentanyl patch to help you maintain your blood levels evenly and avoid gastro-intestinal problems at the same time.