They have invented a transparent adhesive patch that can consistently deliver a prolonged high dose of the painkiller ibuprofen directly through the skin.

The University of Warwick researchers and Medherant have found a way to incoporate significant amounts of the drug (up to 30% weight) into the polymer matrix that sticks the patch to the patient’s skin with the drug. It’s then being delivered at a steady rate over up to 12 hours.

This opens the way for the development of a range of novel long-acting over-the-counter pain relief products which can be used to treat common painful conditions like chronic back pain, neuralgia and arthritis without the need to take potentially damaging doses of the drug orally. Although there are a number of popular ibuprofen gels available these make it difficult to control dosage and are inconvenient to apply.

[ Pop Science.com ]