- A transdermal delivery system in which a substance bearing a charge is propelled through the skin by a low electrical current. This method can be used to drive a drug across the skin barrier, as is done with pilocarpine to stimulate sweating in the sweat chloride test for cystic fibrosis. Iontophoresis can also be used in the reverse direction to draw a molecule such as glucose through the skin.
* * *The introduction into the tissues, by means of an electric current, of the ions of a chosen medicament. SYN: ionic medication, ionization (3), iontotherapy. [ion + G. phoresis, a carrying]
* * *ion·to·pho·re·sis (.)ī-.änt-ə-fə-'rē-səs n, pl -re·ses -.sēz the introduction of an ionized substance (as a drug) through intact skin by the application of a direct electric currention·to·pho·rese -'rēs vt, -resed; -res·ingion·to·pho·ret·ic -'ret-ik adjion·to·pho·ret·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē adv
* * *n.the technique of introducing through the skin, by means of an electric current, charged particles of a drug, so that it reaches a deep site. The method has been used to transfer salicylate ions through the skin in the treatment of deep rheumatic pain. See also cataphoresis.
* * *ion·to·pho·re·sis (i-on″to-fə-reґsis) the introduction by means of the electric current, of ions of soluble salts into the tissues of the body, often for therapeutic purposes; a form of electro-osmosis. Called also iontherapy.
Medical dictionary. 2011.