Swallowing a pill is simple. Yet people still forget to take their medication, and drug levels in the bloodstream surge and sink with each dose. Medicated patches that stick to the skin prevent such problems.
"The patch" became popular around 1990, as smokers used it to kick the habit. A series of patches worn over several weeks' time supplied decreasing amounts of nicotine, gradually weaning people from their addiction. Today transdermal patches deliver estrogen for hormone replacement therapy, nitroglycerin for angina, scopolamine for motion sickness and seasickness, fentanyl for pain control, clonidine for hypertension and, recently, ethinylestradiol plus norelgestromin for contraception.
This article was originally published with the title Potent Patches.