Chapter 4: Administering meds

Applying medicine patches

He preferred the medicine patch over so many pills. He said at least this didn’t upset his stomach.

Applying a medicine patch

Several types of medications are given in a patch form. These are often easier to give, but there are several things to keep in mind for safety,  comfort, and effectiveness. Click on each phrase to read more information.

Wearing protective gloves and while the patch is still in its wrap, warm it by holding it between the palms of your hands for a few seconds before applying.

Press the patch firmly in place with the palm of your hand (wearing protective gloves) for 30 seconds. Make sure that contact is complete around the entire edge of the patch. The contact adhesive is pressure sensitive, and the warmth of your hand activates the contact adhesive.

Avoid placing a dressing over the patch because it may apply pressure and change drug release. This advice may be different depending on the type and manufacturer of the patch. Ask your pharmacist to review specific directions with you.


A medicine patch contains medication that may be very strong, and some medication may still remain on the patch when you remove it. It is essential that you wear protective gloves while preparing, applying, and removing a medicine patch.  Ask a pharmacist for instructions about where and how to dispose of used patches.

Watch the video for a demonstration and for tips on applying and using a medicine patch.

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