Researchers at the University of Warwick, UK have revealed their ibuprofen patch that delivers the drug to the precise area where pain relief is needed. The patch is the first of its kind.

The ibuprofen patch is made of a polymer matrix which holds the drug (dosages up to 30% of the patch’s weight), which is stuck to the patient skin, delivering the drug to the area consistently for 12 hours. The patch is said to be sticky, yet comfortable and easy to remove. And it’s transparent and barely noticeable, so it’s aesthetically pleasing to the patient as well.

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Nigel Davis, CEO of bio-adhesive company Medherant (a co-developer of the patch), called the patch a “next-generation transdermal drug-delivery platform.”

The new technology could be beneficial for sufferers of chronic back pain, neuralgia, and arthritis, removing the need to take potentially damaging doses of ibuprofen orally. Though ibuprofen gels are an alternative, they’re not nearly as easy to use, particularly when controlling the dosages.

This technology could open doors to deliver other drugs to particular parts of the body in the same way. The UK team is already looking into testing their patch with a wide range of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

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