One treatment for dementia may include a skin patch.
What do you envision when you think of skin patches for health purposes?
Perhaps you think primarily of nicotine patches used to encourage the cessation of smoking.
Although this may be the most commonly known function, transdermal patches are used for a variety of ailments to deliver medications to the body.
According to a recent Very Well Health article titled “FDA Approves Weekly Skin Patch to Treat Dementia,” a patch may now be used to treat dementia.
The FDA reviewed clinical trial data for the Adlarity patch.
The FDA approved this donepezil transdermal system and noted it worked as effectively as the oral drug.
The drug works by blocking the acetylcholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine.
Why is this helpful?
Acetylcholine is found in lower levels in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and is important for storing and forming memories.
Although donepezil is a common treatment for Alzheimer’s, the Adlarity skin patch brings a new delivery system.
The use of a skin patch can be particularly beneficial for those with dementia who want to prolong their independence.
Rather than having to remember to take the pill at the same time everyday, the patients can simply replace the patch weekly.
This is a key benefit because those with dementia or Alzheimer’s often lose short-term memory recall early in the progression of the disease.
As such, remembering to take medications each day can be challenging.
A delay in taking drugs can lead to medication levels fluctuating or dropping.
Because the Adlarity skin patch only needs to be changed every seven days, the patient can expect a steady dose for a longer period of time.
With the steady release, the drug is able to more consistently affect the targeted enzymes.
Although the patch has been approved by the FDA, it will not be available for prescription until this coming fall.
The two approved dosages are 5 mg/day and 10 mg/day.
If your loved one has dementia, talk to his or her doctor about whether the Adlarity skin patch would be a possible prescription option.
Reference: Very Well Health (April 18, 2022) “FDA Approves Weekly Skin Patch to Treat Dementia”