Are Prescription Patches Right for You?

In 1981, the motion patch was invited to prevent motion sickness. It was an amazing thing, to the world, that this little patch could prevent such wretchedness. Now, we have patches for everything from arthritis to headaches to helping us stop smoking. Are prescription patches really better than the pills we were formerly prescribed?

The concept is that a patch per day, or even per week, is much easier to remember than several pills each and every day. Prescription patches have small problems, though, like failing to stick well or being nearly impossible to remove. Also, many people break out and become irritated around the area where the patch is worn.

In addition to the convenience of the patch there’s less irritation of the stomach and lower intestines from taking so many pills. But, the patch will not help for those who are allergic to the pill version of the same product.

Certain people should avoid particular patches. For instance, smokers, those with a history of blood clots or migraines, and those with high blood pressure should stay away from the contraceptive patch. Women who are breast feeding, or pregnant, and those with heart disease should avoid the nicotine replacement patch.

A pain patch, such as Duragesic, is by prescription only. The patch gives much relief to constant pain, like the pain of a cancer patient. For slightly less pain, such as osteoarthritis, Lidoderm is prescribed for localized pain. In lab tests the 72-hour Duragesic patch was reportedly as effective as lV morphine.

The birth control patch called Ortho Evra works as well as the pills but information has recently been discovered that states an increase of 60% more estrogen than the pill, which can cause more side effects. Patch or pill, each will cause blood clots and hypertension in some people.

And with the patch, it’s important to know that antibiotics and herbs may effect or interfere with the effectiveness of the drug. You could also experience skin irritation, bloating and cramps, headaches and other ailments.

Menopause patches, like Climara or Estraderm, can prevent hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis. The plus size of choosing the patch over pills is that the patch is easier on the liver. Women with a history of blood clots or breast cancer should avoid these menopause patches. Some side effects for women who use the patches can be bleeding, nausea and swelling. Other drugs, caffeine, alcohol, vitamin C and some herbal products can affect how the patch works.

Deciding on the best medical treatments is a matter for a patient and his or her doctor. The patches seem to offer convenience and, sometimes, causes many less side effects. Talk to your doctor if you’re considering a patch for pain, birth control, to stop smoking, menopause or high blood pressure. Then make an informed decision.

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