This Ibuprofen can relieve pain for 12 hours and it comes in a patch

Ibuprofen has some great characteristics: it's extremely effective and a very safe painkiller. Scientists have now turned this highly useful pill into a different form, a patch, that makes the drug's effects last even longer.

It was created by a collaboration between scientists at the University of Warwick in the UK and the drug delivery research firm Medherant, a Warwick spinout company. The patch conforms to the skin and gives the wearer a steady release of the medicine for up to 12 hours.

It's made of a clear polymer matrix that contains the drug. As Pharmaceutical Processing notes, this transparent design is also cosmetically pleasing.

Compared to other methods of delivery, like ibuprofen gels, the patch can hold as much as 30% by weight of ibuprofen, about 5-10 times more than what can be found in medical patches and gels on in the market now. It also opens up new opportunities for other over the counter pain relief medicines to be used in a similar patch delivery system.

Professor David Haddleton, a University of Warwick research chemist explained more, "Our success in developing this breakthrough patch design isn't limited to ibuprofen; we have also had great results testing the patch with methyl salicylate (used in liniments, gels and some leading commercial patches)."

He further said that other over the counter and prescription drugs can exploit their technology for future applications.

"We are seeking opportunities to test a much wider range of drugs and treatments within our patch", he added.

Described as "highly tacky", the patch is able to adhere to the skin and still move with the body. The patch incorporated adhesive technology developed by the global adhesive company Bostik and exclusively licensed to Medherant.

Since the patch will confidently stay with the body, the dosage is easier to control and stay consistent and will prevent the need to reapply the patch over the course of the day. The patch is also easily removable and will not leave a residue when removed.

As Gizmodo pointed out, chronic pain sufferers, like those with back pain and arthritis, are likely to enjoy this new method of delivering pain medication. The traditional methods these pain sufferers use, administering the drugs orally, can be potentially damaging.

Unfortunately, the patch isn't on the market yet, with the team saying that it will arrive in about two years. By that time though, the patches should cover a variety of over the counter medicines. 

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