Burn risk prompts investigation of Zecuity migraine patch

Zecuity patch photo

The Food and Drug Administration is looking into the safety of the Zecuity transdermal patch that’s used to treat migraine headaches.

Since going on the market last September, the FDA says, a large number of Zecuity patch users have reported their skin was burned or scarred when they wore the patch.  The reports included severe redness, pain, skin discoloration, blistering, and cracked skin. As a result, FDA is investigating to determine whether it needs to take future regulatory action.

The active ingredient in the Zecuity patch is sumatriptan, a prescription medicine used to treat acute migraine headaches in adults. Sumatriptan is in a class of medications called selective serotonin receptor agonists. It works by narrowing blood vessels in the head, stopping pain signals from being sent to the brain, and blocking the release of certain natural substances that cause pain, nausea, and other symptoms of migraine. The battery-powered Zecuity patch is wrapped around an arm or thigh, used once to deliver the medicine and then thrown away.

The FDA recommends that patients immediately remove the Zecuity patch if they experience moderate to severe pain at the patch site in order to avoid burns or scarring.  They should do this regardless of how long the patch has been worn.  These patients should also report the problem to their doctor.  The FDA also recommends that the patch not be worn in water.

More than 3 million migraine cases are reported in the U.S. each year.  The headache is severe, with intense throbbing.  Frequently there is also nausea, vomiting.  Light and sound can be very difficult to handle. A migraine can last for hours..sometimes even for days.

The Zecuity patch is one of many migraine treatment methods including several oral medications and also acupuncture.


About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at Rx411. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years. This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns. He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C.