Sweat Patch


PharmChek® Drugs of Abuse Sweat Patch uses sweat as  the  specimen  source. It provides an alternative to urine collection and offers a number of advantages. Because the sweat patch is worn on the skin for up to 10 days or longer, it not only acts as a deterrent to continued drug use, but also increases the window of detection to include any period when it is worn. With sweat testing – unlike urine – the parent drug as well as the drug metabolite can typically be detected. Therefore, it is easier to identify which drug was actually taken. The following are the advantages of the PharmChek® Drugs of Abuse Sweat Patch:

  • Increased window of detection
  • Acts as a deterrent to drug abuse
  • Detects Parent Drug and Drug Metabolites
  • Variable Removal Date
  • Quick Application & Removal
  • No Urine Collections
  • No Sample Substitution
  • No Sample Dilution
  • Screens for: Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamine/Methamphetamine & PCP

More About the PharmChek® Drugs of Abuse Sweat Patch

  • The sweat patch is a non-occlusive, hypoallergenic collection device.
  • The sweat patch was cleared as a collection device by FDA on October 4, 1990.
  • The FDA cleared the sweat patch for the detection of cocaine, opiates and methamphetamine in 1995; for marijuana and phencyclidine in 1996. View PDF of FDA letters.

Tests sweat for: cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, PCP and marijuana

  • Tests for both the drug metabolite and the parent drug
  • Hygienic – no handling urine
  • No sample substitution
  • 24 hours per day, 7 – 10 days of continuous wear time, when applied properly
  • Retains drugs used any time during wear period
  • Cannot be diluted and is tamper evident
  • Nearly 15 years of reliability
  • Increased window of detection
  • Acts as a deterrent to drug use
  • Variable removal date
  • Quick applications and removals
  • Gender indifferent

Drug Detection in Sweat
Patch Detects Parent Drug & Metabolites

  • Cocaine: cocaine, benzoylecgonine
  • Heroin: 6-MAM, morphine
  • Codeine: codeine, morphine
  • Synthetic opiates:  hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone and oxycodone
  • Amphetamine: methamphetamine, amphetamine
  • PCP: PCP
  • Marijuana: THC

What is PharmChek?

  • Polyurethane Film
  • Absorption Pad
  • Unique Number
  • Release Liner

PharmChek is a Sweat patch, worn on the skin surface, that acts as a specimen container for the non-volatile and liquid components of sweat.

Sweat Patch Cases Upheld in Court
Between January 1998 and July 2009, the Sweat Patch has been upheld in federal and state courts approxamately 50 times, including a 2006 appeal in federal court heard by former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the Honorable Judge Sandra Day O’Connor.

Wear Time
Patches must be worn for a minimum for 24 hours.

  • Sweat patches can be worn for up to 7 – 10 days.
    • If the patch is worn longer than 7 – 10 days, the test will be valid as long as there is a clear seal around the pad.

Donor’s Responsibilities

  • Normal activities such as bathing, showering, swimming, working out, etc., are permitted.
  • When drying the area where the patch is applied, gently pat the area with a towel instead of rubbing the area.
  • Hot tubs,  tanning booths, prolonged exposures in a sauna and sweat lodges should be avoided.
  • Donor must report to applying agency if patch’s adhesive is failing.

Overlay Application

The modified PharmChek® Overlay is made of the same adhesive material as the Sweat Patch which can be used for long term wear. The Overlay has a “window” to make removal of the Patch easier.

Who May Need to Wear the Overlay
Individuals who have had difficulty wearing a patch for the recommended length of time may need to wear an Overlay.

Difficulty wearing the patch is most common with:

  • Individuals who exercise heavily.
  • Individuals who perform strenuous labor.
  • Individuals who live in hot, humid climates.

These individuals may produce a large amount of sweat very quickly. Occasionally, the sweat cannot evaporate through the patch fast enough and consequently may cause the adhesive to loosen.

The Overlay’s construction allows excess sweat that might loosen the patch to evaporate and keep the patch adhered to the skin.