Cadexomer iodine

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Cadexomer iodine
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Cadexomer iodine is an iodophor that is produced by the reaction of dextrin with epichlorhydrin coupled with ion-exchange groups and iodine. It is a water-soluble modified starch polymer containing 0.9% iodine, calculated on a weight-weight basis, within a helical matrix.[1]


Cadexomer iodine was developed in the early 1980s in Sweden by Perstorp AB, and given the name Iodosorb. The product was shown to be effective in the treatment of venous ulcers,.[2][3] More recently, it has been shown in studies in animals and humans that, unlike the iodophor povidone-iodine, Iodosorb causes an acceleration of the healing process in chronic human wounds. This is due to an increase in epidermal regeneration and epithelialization in both partial-thickness and full-thickness wounds.[4] In this way cadexomer iodine acts as a cicatrizant.


When formulated as a topical wound dressing Iodosorb adsorbs exudate and particulate matter from the surface of granulating wounds and, as the dressing becomes moist, iodine is released. The product thus has the dual effect of cleansing the wound and exerting a bactericidal action.


In addition to other manufacturers, Smith & Nephew distributes cadexomer iodine as Iodosorb and Iodoflex in many countries of the world for the treatment and healing of various types of wounds. The dosage forms are a paste dressing, an ointment and a gel, all of which contain 0.9% iodine.

See also


  1. Merck Index, 14th Edition, p262 Merck & Co. Inc.
  2. Skog, E. et al. (1983). A randomized trial comparing cadexomer iodine and standard treatment in the out-patient management of chronic venous ulcers. British Journal of Dermatology 109, 77. PMID 6344906
  3. Ormiston, M.C., Seymour, M.T., Venn, G.E., Cohen, R.I. and Fox, J.A. (1985). Controlled trial of Iodosorb in chronic venous ulcers. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition) 291, 308-310. PMID 3962169
  4. Drosou Anna, Falabella Anna, and Kirsner Robert S. (2003) Antiseptics on Wounds: An area of controversy. Wounds 159(5) 149-166. Retrieved 02/03/2009