The effect of iontophoresis and vehicle pH on the in-vitro permeation of lignocaine through human stratum corneum

J Pharm Pharmacol. 1985 Oct;37(10):732-5. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7158.1985.tb04954.x.


The effect of iontophoresis and the pH of aqueous vehicles on the rate and extent of permeation of lignocaine through excised human stratum corneum was investigated. In the absence of iontophoresis, the rate of penetration was greatest at the higher pH values where lignocaine exists mainly in the unionized form; iontophoresis was most effective at the lower pH values where lignocaine is mainly ionized. At pH 3.4, and 5.2, the flux increased during iontophoresis, by approximately 8.5 and 4 times, respectively, relative to that occurring without iontophoresis. The present results suggest that some weak electrolytes which show poor percutaneous penetration may be administered topically using iontophoresis provided the drug is kept in a highly ionized form.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iontophoresis
  • Kinetics
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine / metabolism*
  • Permeability
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Skin Absorption*


  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Lidocaine