Transdermal Drug Delivery Technology

Transdermal Patch delivers the active ingredients of the drug by the means of skin. Skin is an effective medium from which absorption of the drug takes place and enters the circulatory system. The hangover patches have been proved effective because of their large advantages over other controlled drug delivery systems. The main advantages of this system are that there is controlled release of the drug and the medication is painless.


Drug: Transdermal patches offer much to drugs which undergo extensive first pass metabolism, drugs with narrow therapeutic window, or drugs with short half life which causes non- compliance due to frequent dosing. The drug possesses the right mix of physicochemical and biological properties for transdermal drug delivery. The drug for passive adhesive transdermal patches must be non ionic, of low molecular weight (less than 500 Daltons), have adequate solubility in oil and water (log P in the range of 1-3), a low melting point (less than 200°C) and are potent (dose in mg per day).

Permeation Enhancers: These are the chemical compounds that increase permeability of stratum corneum so as to attain higher therapeutic levels of the drug candidate. Penetration enhancers interact with structural components of stratum corneum i.e., proteins or lipids. They alter the protein and lipid packaging of stratum corneum, thus chemically modifying the barrier functions leading to increased permeability. 

Pressure sensitive adhesives: A PSA is a material that helps in maintaining an intimate contact between transdermal system and the skin surface. It should adhere with not more than applied finger pressure, be aggressively and permanently tachy, exert a strong holding force. Additionally, it should be removable from the smooth surface without leaving a residue. 

Backing Laminate: Chemical resistance of the material is most important. Excipient compatibility should also be considered because the prolonged contact between the backing layer and the excipients may cause the additives to leach out of the backing layer or may lead to diffusion of excipients, drug or penetration enhancer through the layer. However, an overemphasis on the chemical resistance may lead to stiffness and high occlusivity to moisture vapor and air, causing patches to lift and possibly irritate the skin during long wear. The most comfortable backing will be the one that exhibits lowest modulus or high flexibility, good oxygen transmission and a high moisture vapor transmission rate. 

Release Liner: During storage the patch is covered by a protective liner that is removed and discharged immediately before the application of the patch to skin. It is therefore regarded as a part of the primary packaging material rather than a part of dosage form for delivering the drug. However, as the liner is in intimate contact with the delivery system, it should comply with specific requirements regarding chemical inertness and permeation to the drug, penetration enhancer and water. Release liner is composed of a base layer which may be non-occlusive (e.g. paper fabric) or occlusive (e.g. polyethylene, polyvinylchloride) and a release coating layer made up of silicon or teflon.