Chronic pain patch delivers direct relief

biatan ibu patchA Mississauga company has introduced Canada's first dressing for chronic wounds, with a built-in painkiller.

Coloplast Canada is a subsidiary of a Danish company that spent seven years developing the treatment for chronic pain. The product was first introduced in Europe in March.

The dressing, "switches off the pain at the source," said George Baltazar, spokesperson for Coloplast Canada, which has its corporate head offices on Ridgeway Dr. in Erin Mills.

The new dressing, called Biatain-Ibu, delivers ibuprofen directly into the wound.

According to pain experts, chronic wounds are among the most-neglected scourges in modern medicine.

Dr. Gary Sibbald, who operates a private practice in Mississauga and is professor of dermatology at the University of Toronto, said pain associated with chronic wounds is often overlooked.

"Patients often don't tell us the true impact that the pain has on their lives," said Sibbald, who is also on staff at Trillium Health Centre.

Sibbald is former chair of the Canadian Association of Wound Care.

Fifty-to-80 per cent of those pain sufferers suffer side effects ranging from insomnia to loss of appetite, reduced physical activity and depression.

Chronic wounds are defined as those that take more than three months to heal. They are most often attributed to poor blood circulation. Those with diabetes, or who are bed-ridden, in a wheelchair or obese, are particularly susceptible.

"The Biatain-Ibu foam pad is remarkable in that it can absorb and evaporate large quantities of wound fluid while slowly and constantly delivering low-dosage ibuprofen, a proven pain-relieving drug, directly into the wound," said Baltazar.

One of the major benefits is that patients do not suffer from side effects that often result when oral pain killers are given. The dressing also eliminates some of the concern about effects of interaction of different drugs.

Health retailers across the country began selling Biatain-Ibu Oct. 23.