Recent advances on transdermal iontophoretic drug delivery and non-invasive sampling
J. DRUG DEL. SCI. TECH., 19 (2) 75-88 2009
Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK
Transdermal iontophoresis has become a mature drug delivery technique; iontophoretic devices have been approved by the regulatory agencies for the delivery of fentanyl and lidocaine. Active research investigates other applications for local and systemic drug administration; namely anti-inflammatory drugs, anaesthetics, analgesics, antiviral agents, peptides, proteins, drugs used in photodynamic therapy and to treat Parkinson’s disease and migraine. Its potential for non-invasive sampling has found applications in glucose monitoring, therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacokinetic profiling. The last eight years have brought a better understanding on the mechanisms and pathways of transport during transdermal iontophoresis, on the selection of drug candidates and the formulation of iontophoretic vehicles. Local effects of iontophoresis are typically moderate to mild oedema and erythema, tingling and itching sensations, and transient elevations of the skin temperature and transepidermal water loss. Iontophoresis is considered a safe, non-invasive and effective way of delivering transdermally judiciously chosen drugs.