Inserting an IV into children is a painful process for both the patient and the pediatrician. Doctors usually tell kids that needle-sticks will feel like a bug bite, but invariably it ends up hurting a lot more than that. Then the physician has to deal with crying kids and screaming parents. Luckily ZARS Pharma announced that their topical anesthetic patch is now available on the market from Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. It is intended to reduce the pain associated with superficial venous access and dermatological procedures. From their press release:
Synera is indicated for local dermal analgesia on intact skin, and consists of a thin, uniform, local anesthetic formulation with an integrated, oxygen-activated heating component that is intended to enhance the delivery of the local anesthetic. The drug formulation is an eutectic mixture of lidocaine 70 mg and tetracaine 70 mg. Synera is indicated to provide local dermal analgesia for superficial venous access and superficial dermatological procedures such as excision, electrodessication and shave biopsy of skin lesions.
The company’s technology is quite interesting:
CHADD is a disposable, self-adhesive heating unit that generates heat when exposed to oxygen in the ambient air. The CHADD unit consists of a powder-filled pouch laminated between a top cover film with oxygen-regulating holes and a bottom film with a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer. The heat-generating powder consists of a proprietary chemical mixture.
Upon contact with oxygen in ambient air, a chemical reaction occurs in the heat-generating medium. After an initial rise in temperature, the temperature generated by the CHADD unit will reach and remain within the controlled temperature range for a pre-determined period of time. When the heat generating medium is exhausted, the skin temperature gradually returns to baseline.
The CHADD heating unit may either be incorporated directly into the drug-containing patch as with the Synera™ product (see photo), or placed on top of a transdermal drug patch (see figure below) to initiate temporary increases in drug concentrations.