Researchers at the National University of Singapore have encapsulated lidocaine for pain relief (or collagen for cosmetic purposes) into miniscule needles on an adhesive patch. Those patients fearing injections will be pleased to know that the process is painless, fast, and effective. Current transdermal patches differ in efficacy based on individual drug absorption, which can take 45 minutes. Experiments indicate that the microneedle patch can work in just 5 minutes.
As first reported in Molecular Pharmaceutics, this new process could enable not just faster pain relief, but larger doses, and, due to length of time the patch is on the skin, less skin irritation. In addition to home use of these patches, the researchers envision pediatric use: the pain patch could be applied before a baby needs a shot or vaccinating.
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