Wellness warrior and orthopedic medicine guru, Dr. Sylvia Hesse strongly believes in a holistic approach in providing musculoskeletal medical care to her patients at her busy NYC practice.
“Topical analgesic medication, like a cream, gel, patch, or spray, provides a welcome alternative for pain sufferers, including those who prefer to avoid the use of oral OTC pain relief medication,” says Dr. Hesse. “Transdermal pain preparations penetrate directly to the site of the pain – providing a fast therapeutic benefit. Oral medications must travel through the digestive and circulatory system, and only a small proportion of the active drug is available before, ultimately, reaching their target tissue.”
We sat down with Dr. Hesse to get her insight on handling moderate to mild pain:
Q.What are the real differences between moderate and mild pain?
According to the medically recognized pain scale, which shows comparative pain scale from 1 to 10, moderate pain “interferes with many activities and requires a lifestyle change with the person being unable to adapt to pain.” Minor pain “does not interfere with most activities” and the person is “able to adapt to pain psychologically and with medication or devices such as cushions.” Moderate pain is classified as “distressing,” “very distressing” and “intense.” Hence, an OTC pain patch that can alleviate moderate pain and empower a person to engage in normal activities is quite significant, especially since 99% of what’s OTC is labeled to treat mild pain.
Q.What is the market size of the nonprescription pain relief marketplace?
In the United States, the nonprescription pain relief marketplace exceeds $2 billion per year for oral and topical dosage forms including tablets, capsules, ointments, gels, creams and patches.
Q.What are the advantages of topical drug delivery in the form of cream, gel, and patches versus other types of medication delivery for pain management?
Topical creams, gels, and patches offer a unique way of delivering medication to your body which offers distinct advantages over taking medications orally. One of the biggest advantages is that the medication is delivered directly to the site of pain. Direct application allows a higher concentration of the drug to reach the tissue that needs it. The total amount of medication absorbed into the bloodstream is low, leading to a very low incidence of side effects, in contrast to oral medications. Topical treatments can use less medicine and can achieve the same or better relief.