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The introduction of drugs into the body using direct current. In this case, two factors act on the body - the drug and the galvanic current.
In a solution, as well as in a tissue fluid, many medicinal substances decompose into ions and, depending on their charge, are introduced during electrophoresis from one or another electrode. Penetrating with the passage of current into the thickness of the skin under the electrodes, medicinal substances form the so-called skin depots, from which they slowly enter the body.
However, not all medicinal substances can be used for electrophoresis. Some drugs under the influence of current change their pharmacological properties, can decompose or form compounds that have a harmful effect. Therefore, if necessary, to use any substance for drug electrophoresis, one should study its ability to penetrate the skin under the action of galvanic current, determine the optimal concentration of the drug substance solution for electrophoresis, and especially the solvent. So, the universal solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) has found practical application, which, without changing the pharmacological properties of the drug substance, promotes its penetration through the skin. The concentration of most drug solutions used for electrophoresis is 1-5%.
The introduction of drugs by electrophoresis has several advantages compared to conventional methods of their use:
1) the drug substance acts against the background of the electrochemical regime of cells and tissues changed under the influence of the galvanic current;
2) the drug substance comes in the form of ions, which increases its pharmacological activity;
3) the formation of a "skin depot" increases the duration of the drug;
4) a high concentration of the drug substance is created directly in the pathological focus;
5) the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract is not irritated;
6) it is possible to simultaneously administer several (from different poles) medicinal substances.
Due to these advantages, drug electrophoresis is increasingly used, including in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system, in cancer practice, in the treatment of tuberculosis, electrophoresis of drugs from solutions previously introduced into the cavity organs.