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March 12, 1982

Sustained Drug-Release Patches

JAMA. 1982;247(10):1404. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320350018005

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To the Editor.—  In the past several months, two drugs (scopolamine and nitroglycerin) have become available in sustained-release patches for application to the skin. This unique new dosage form should enhance compliance, since it increases convenience to the patient; it also provides optimal delivery of drugs that are difficult to administer effectively in ambulatory patients. It should be pointed out, however, that these new products are potentially hazardous in that they may not be recognized as a form of drug therapy when treating the unconscious patient. Both patches are devoid of labeling and resemble in color and size an adhesive bandage and are therefore unobtrusive when worn. Recommended application of the scopolamine patch is to the postauricular area, while the nitroglycerin patch is to be applied to any area devoid of hair, excepting distal portions of the extremities. Both products exert effects for more than 24 hours.It is important