Pain Relief Breakthrough: First-Ever Ibuprofen Patch Lasts For Up To 12 Hours

Ibuprofen is a well-known name in pain relief and most people keep it around the house to ease their headaches, sports injuries, or other bodily pains. Available previously as both a pill and a topical gel, ibuprofen is now entering new territory will be released as a pain relief patch.

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A new ibuprofen patch has been created by researchers in England, and according to Medical Daily, there are hopes to have it tested and available to the public within the next two years. David Haddleton, a chemical researcher at the University of Warwick where the patch is being developed, said in a press release that the patch will be the first of its kind. Medical Daily reports that the press release also revealed the ibuprofen patch will work for up to 12 hours.

What is the reason for putting ibuprofen into a patch? Aside from the fact that it will offer 12 hours of pain relief, of course. For one thing, it won’t cause the nausea or upset stomach that many people experience when swallowing the pill form of ibuprofen, reports CNET. Additionally, it will work better than the topical ibuprofen gel because it can stay on the skin for extended periods of time and the dosage will be under more control.

The new ibuprofen patch has more than just a different method of administration. As explained by Medical Daily, when you put on the patch, it slowly releases pain relief medication into your body and continues to do so steadily for the duration of the time you’re wearing it. The pill, however, is designed to dissolve in your stomach as soon as you take it and releases all of the pain relief medication at once. Same with the topical gel, CNET says that the medication in the patch will stick to the skin, in a way, ensuring that it does not simply rub off before it is able to do its job.

The new ibuprofen patch has a leg up over other patches on the market, which, according to Haddleton, “surprisingly don’t contain any pain relief agents at all.” Most pain patches used today simply warm the area and create the illusion that the pain is going away, but they do not actually release medication into the body. Haddleton explained that this new patch will contain ibuprofen, as well as other things that will really make it effective.

“Our technology now means that we can for the first time produce patches that contain effective doses of active ingredients, such as ibuprofen… Also, we can improve the drug loading and stickiness of patches containing other active ingredients to improve patient comfort and outcome.”

So in addition to including a pain medication with a reliable reputation, the researchers’ goal for the patch is that it will effectively adhere to the skin for the entire time it takes to release the drug and offer pain relief, says Medical Daily. This means that the patch is designed to stick for 12 hours without a problem. The patch will also supposedly contain five to 10 times more active pain medication than the typical patch, which isn’t a complete surprise since Haddleton revealed that most patches don’t contain actual pain medication at all.

The ibuprofen patch is expected to be the first of its kind, but not the last. Medical Daily goes on to say that researchers think the successful creation and use of this patch will lead to many other over-the-counter pain relievers of its kind. These could potentially be used to treat a number of different common ailments and discomforts that the everyday person encounters.

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The ibuprofen patch that researchers have is colorless and they’ve described it as “cosmetically pleasing,” so those who use the patch won’t have to worry about it standing out or clashing with their wardrobe. It seems they really have thought of everything.

[Image via Ode to ibuprofen | photopin (license)]