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Do pain patches have fewer side effects than oral medications?

Juan P. Villablanca, MD
Neuroradiology
Pain patches have fewer side effects than oral medications that contain the same type of medication. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that you swallow will have more potential side effects throughout your body than if the same medicine was absorbed through your skin from a pain patch. The same applies to steroids. If you were to deliver a small amount of steroid directly to a painful area, your body will absorb less of the drug than if you took a steroid pill orally.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.