Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
(also ionotherapy, ionic medication, medical ionization), a procedure in physical therapy that uses a direct electric current to introduce drugs into the body through the skin or mucous membranes. Iontophoresis increases the sensitivity of the receptors to the drugs, which retain all their pharmacological properties during the procedure.
The major feature of iontophoresis is the pronounced and prolonged therapeutic effect of low doses of drugs introduced through a specific skin “depot.” The procedure also permits local action in certain pathological conditions, for example, local vascular disorders that hamper the entry of a drug into a pathological focus from the blood. Several drugs can be used at the same time. A pulsating current of constant direction is used in some cases to increase the therapeutic efficacy of the method.
The sources of current and the method of application are the same as for galvanization (seeGALVANIZATION). Two electrodes with pads moistened in a solution of the drugs are placed on the skin, or one of them is inserted into a nostril, ear, vagina, or some other body cavity. In some cases a small cup with a solution of the drugs is used instead of a pad; a carbon electrode is immersed in the cup. Iontophoresis is used in the treatment of diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems, disorders of the organs of movement and support, and gynecological diseases.
REFERENCESUlashchik, V. S. Teoriia i praktika lekarstvennogo elektroforeza. Minsk, 1976.
Spravochnikpofizioterapii. Moscow, 1976.
V. M. STRUGATSKH