Some medicines are available as an adhesive patch that is applied directly to your skin. For example, nicotine patches are used to help people quit smoking. There are some pain relief patches that contain lidocaine that are used for muscle strains. These types of patches can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC). Other medicine patches are only available by prescription. Examples of prescription patches include medicines for birth control, nausea, and severe pain.
Patches are convenient to use, especially for people who have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules. They are designed to deliver medicine slowly over a longer period of time. Patches are generally worn for several days to a week before it is removed and a new one is applied. The amount of time a patch should be worn and when it should be replaced will differ depending on the medicine that is in the patch and the type of patch itself. It is important to follow the directions when using medicine patches and to keep them safe and secure at all times. Below are some important safety tips to keep in mind.
Learning about your medicine patch. Not all medicine patches are alike. Always read the package information and instructions for the patch you are using before applying it to your skin.
Applying your patch.
Wearing your patch.
Removing, disposing, and storing medicine patches.