Medicinal electrophoresis is a combined (simultaneous) application of direct current, mostly galvanic current, and small amount of drug or combination of drugs.
As a result of very low speed of ion movement, epidermis high resistance, procedure time and current intensity limitation, drug ions are introduced only into epidermis during procedure, forming a specific depot there. The drug is washed out gradually by blood and lymph flow and spread along the organism, in this view quick effect from the drug should not be expected during electrophoresis. Besides, the amount of the substance entering skin depot makes only 2-3% of the substance administered in the procedure.
The leading importance in the therapeutic mechanism of this method belongs to current which, at the same time, increases tissue sensitivity to drug action.
Characteristics of therapeutic action of medicine electrophoresis include:
1) possibility of effect concentration on a surface part of body, e.g. joint;
2) long duration of procedure action – drug depot retains for several days;
3) exception of drug effect on alimentary organs;
4) drug introduction into organism in the form of ions, i.e. in active form.
Basic quantitative regularities of medicinal electrophoresis consists in the following:
- drug introduction into organism reduces by increase of size and charge of introduced ions, as well as reduction of solution purity;
- drug in cationic form is introduced into organism in bigger amount than in anionic form;
- influence of substance content in the solution on its introduction into organism is of relative character and significant only in the sphere of low and medium concentrations (up to 2-5%). Increase of preparation concentration of 5% during medicine electrophoresis leads to reduction of its content in tissues due to a greater degree of destruction and formation of molecular associations.
Lately, direct pulse currents - rectified modulated or diadynamic – are used more frequently during electrophoresis than the galvanic current. Though the total amount of the substance introduced into organism is less than conventionally administered, it is possible to increase specific action of the method due to selection of specific pulse forms. Thus, it is reasonable to use sinusoidal modulated current (SMC) in rectified condition for deeper penetration into tissues and faster enter into blood.
Considering that the leading importance in this method belongs to the current which maximum density and reactions caused form in the tissues under electrodes, main indications for medicinal electrophoresis, as well as galvanization, are local and regional pathologic processes. Drugs are selected on the same grounds. Systemic action of these methods implemented by reflex can be expected mainly during functional vegetovascular disorders and conditions for which medicine microdoses are enough.
Indications for medicinal electrophoresis are quite wide. They are determined by pharmacotherapeutic characteristics of the introduced preparations with obligatory registration of indications for direct current application. Medicinal electrophoresis is applied during diseases of central and peripheral nervous system, musculoskeletal system, gynecological diseases, etc.