Medication plaster

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A medicinal plaster (also medicinal plaster or cataplasma ; Latin emplastrum , from Greek ἔμπλαστρον , "the smeared ", plaster in the sense of "external use of an active ingredient") today describes, among other things, a flexible, adhesive preparation to be placed on the skin, the one or contains several drugs . Modern medicinal plasters consist of an active ingredient-containing adhesive base that spreads out as a uniform layer on a suitable carrier made of natural or synthetic material. The adhesive layer is covered by a protective film that is removed before the patch is applied to the skin.

As early as the Middle Ages, medicinal substances were processed as ointments or pastes and applied to the carrier material. Originally, both the (bandage) material coated with the medicament and the medicament mass to be applied to the bandage material were referred to as plasters (for example in the book of good plasters and ointments ). The original intention of a systemic effect of traditional patch therapy reappears with the use of the transdermal patches introduced in the 1970s .


Medicinal plasters are usually used for local treatment and are to be distinguished from wound dressings , the protective and (self) adhesive, non-active adhesive plasters , also referred to as plasters , and the first- aid bandages and spray plasters .

They are also to be distinguished from the so-called transdermal patches , which release the active ingredient continuously and in a controlled manner from a depot contained in the patch and which reaches the site of action via the skin into the bloodstream ( systemic effect).

Local effectiveness

Depending on the type of active ingredient, locally effective plasters develop their effect either only on the skin surface (“cutaneous plaster”, for example as a wound plaster) or in the deeper layers of the skin or the underlying tissue.


The first plasters were made between 2000 and 1200 BC. Applied. It is one of the oldest forms of drug administration. Special plaster preparations, often named after the underlying ointment substance, were particularly widespread in the Middle Ages, for example the apostolicum originally composed of twelve components ("twelve messenger ointment ", Unguentum Apostolicum , or "twelve messenger plaster ", emplastrum Apostolicum , for example in the Antidotarium Nicolai ) or that From the end of the 14th century, the “Jewish plaster” (also called “Jerusalem plaster”) was widely used. Medicinal plasters were also of great importance in Europe in the 19th century. Production was reserved for pharmacists.

Among other things, the plaster was made of lead salts of fatty acids , which the pharmacist produced by saponifying fats ( triglycerides ) in the presence of lead (II) oxide ("black lead") and which, as required, contained various active ingredients, possibly also fats, Oils, wax or resins. In addition to the simple emplastrum adhaesivum (adhesive plaster), other examples of historical plaster preparations include:

  • E. cantharidum = cantharid plaster
  • E. cantharidum perpetuum = tension plaster
  • E. capsici = Capsicum - ( Chilli -) plaster ( warming plaster )
  • E. cerussae = white lead plaster
  • E. fuscum camphoratum, E. minii adustum, E. universale = mother plaster, universal defensive plaster
  • E. hydrargyri = mercury plaster
  • E. lithargyri = lead plaster
  • E. saponatum extensum = soap plaster
  • E. saponatum salicylatum extensum = salicylic soap plaster

The actual healing patches have largely faded into the background today. Remnants are e.g. B. Pain or wart plasters, but the simple first-aid bandage has outlasted time and has become an integral part of today's modern medicine.

Components of modern pavement

Modern pavement included as a plaster mass rubber or acrylate -Misch polymers , which is applied to a support made of fabric or film.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Christoph Weißer: Plaster. 2005, p. 1141.
  2. a b Definition according to EDQM Standard Terms
  3. Dieter Lehmann: Two medical prescription books of the 15th century from the Upper Rhine. Part I: Text and Glossary. Horst Wellm, Pattensen / Han. 1985, now at Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 34), ISBN 3-921456-63-0 , p. 235 .; see. in addition Andrea Lehmann: Two medical prescription books of the 15th century from the Upper Rhine. Part II: Commentary. ibid 1986 (= Würzburg medical historical research. Volume 35).
  4. Christoph Weißer: Plaster. 2005, p. 1141.
  5. European Pharmacopoeia, 8th edition, Grundwerk 2014, p. 1207 f.
  6. Jürgen Martin: The 'Ulmer Wundarznei'. Introduction - Text - Glossary on a monument to German specialist prose from the 15th century. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 52), ISBN 3-88479-801-4 (also medical dissertation Würzburg 1990), p. 113.
  7. Eva Shenia Shemyakova: 'Des Juden buch von kreuczenach'. Investigation and edition of the recipe part of the Heidelberg Cpg 786. In: Fachproseforschung - Grenzüberreitungen. Volume 8/9, 2012/13, pp. 207–265, here: pp. 228–232 ( Apostolikum and gratia dej ) and 222 ( Das Judenpflaster ) as well as 231 f. (to both).
  8. Gundolf Keil, Ingrid Rohland: The "Jewish plaster of Jerusalem". Notes on a galenic short treatise. In: Christian de Backer, Paul Nijs (eds.): Recente bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van de farmacie. (= Farmaceutisch tijdschrift voor Belgièe. Volume 58, No. 5-6). Brussels 1981. pp. 139–142.
  9. Leo Jules van de Wiele: "warpout" uit "den plaestere van Jerusalem". Hs. 15624-41, Kon. Bi. Brussel en Hs. 1273, Un. Bi. Gent. In: Pharm. Tschr. België. Volume 40, 1963, pp. 37-42.