Perils of patches underappreciated, says LA Times

Share this article:
Patients and healthcare professionals alike overestimate the safety of drug patches, according to a report in today's LA Times.

Pain patches containing fentanyl, including Ortho-McNeil's Duragesic, have caused overdoses, prompting the FDA to order a black box warning in 2005 that the patches should be prescribed at the lowest dose possible and not for short-term pain or post-operative pain. But other transdermal patches have also come in for questioning, including the Ortho Evra birth control patch, which may increase risk of blood clots due to its higher-than-usual estrogen boost, and Daytrana for ADD, which has caused skin irritation in some users.

One issue common to patches, the article notes, is that while delivering a drug more steadily, they can also ultimately deliver more of it. Another is that because heat affects the rate of absorption, sunbathing or a hot shower could cause overdose. Moreover, skin thickness varies from patient to patient, and thicker skins may mean lower uptake.

Kenneth Sloan, a medicinal chemist at the University of Florida who has researched absorption from patches, told the paper: “Patches are not innocuous. One patch does not fit all.” 
Share this article:
close

Next Article in News

Email Newsletters

More in News

Sales of Biogen MS pill pick up overseas

Sales of Biogen MS pill pick up overseas

Biogen Idec is seeing strong sales for blockbuster MS drug Tecfidera, especially overseas where it's beginning to catch fire this summer.

GSK second-quarter sales disappoint

GSK second-quarter sales disappoint

Executives urge analysts to focus on the company's long-term potential.

House bill would speed approval once EU OKs same product

House bill would speed approval once EU OKs ...

The Speeding Access to Already Approved Pharmaceuticals Act of 2014 would require FDA to expedite the review of pharmaceuticals that are already approved by the European Union