SMTL Dressings Datacard

Product Name: Iodosorb
Classification Name: Dressing Polysaccharide Beads, Powder, Medicated
Manufacturer: Smith & Nephew Healthcare Ltd


Iodosorb consists of sterile, yellow-brown microspheres or beads, 0.1-0.3 mm in diameter formed from a three dimensional network of cadexomer - a chemically modified starch. The hydrophilic beads contain 0.9% w/w of elemental iodine, which is held firmly within the structure of the polymer and not liberated in the dry state despite its high vapour pressure. In the presence of aqueous solutions or wound fluid, the beads take up liquid and swell, slowly releasing the iodine. If the beads are placed upon a sloughy or infected wound, bacteria and cellular debris are taken up by capillary action and become trapped in the spaces between the beads. When the dressing is changed, this debris is washed away. The iodine, which is released as the beads take up fluid, also imparts antibacterial properties to the dressing.


Iodosorb is used for the treatment of chronic exuding wounds such as leg ulcers, pressure ulcers and diabetic ulcers, particularly when infection is present or suspected.


As Iodosorb contains iodine it should not be used in patients with known or suspected iodine sensitivity. Usage is also contraindicated in patients with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and in the case of non- toxic nodular goitre. Iodine is absorbed systemically and patients with severely impaired renal function or with a past history of any thyroid disorder are more susceptible to alteration in thyroid metabolism with chronic Iodosorb therapy. In endemic goitre there have been isolated reports of hyperthyroidism associated with Iodosorb.

Method of use

A layer of Iodosorb beads approximately 3 mm thick, is applied to the wound and covered with a suitable pad or dressing retention material held in place with tape or a bandage as appropriate. Removal is best accomplished by irrigating the wound with sterile water or normal saline, using a syringe. Once the wound has been cleansed, a new layer of beads is applied while the area is still moist.

Frequency of Change

The frequency of dressing changes will depend upon the nature of the wound. Daily changes may be required initially, but after the first few days the interval between changes can be extended until eventually the dressing is changed about three times per week. More frequent changes will be required if the beads become saturated with exudate as indicated by a loss of colour.


Iodine is absorbed systemically especially when applied to large wounds and therefore Iodosorb should be used with care on patients who have a history of thyroid disorders. Iodosorb should not be used on children and as iodine can cross the placental barrier and is secreted into milk Iodosorb should not be applied to pregnant women or lactating mothers. There is a potential interaction of iodine with lithium and therefore co-administration is not recommended. Iodosorb should not be used concomitantly with mercurial antiseptics, e.g. mercurochrome and thiomersal, or taurolidine. A single application should not exceed 50 grams, and not more than 150 grams of Iodosorb should be applied during the course of one week. A single course of treatment with Iodosorb should not exceed 3 months. Iodosorb should not be used on dry wounds.


Iodosorb is available in unit dose foil/laminate sachets containing 3 grams of beads sterilised by irradiation.


Iodosorb should be stored in a dry place below 25C


3 g Sachet

Legal Category

Iodosorb is a Pharmacy item [P] and is the subject of a Product Licence (PL 14038/0007)


1. Moberg S, et al., A randomised trial of cadexomer iodine in decubitus ulcers, J.A.M.A., 1983, 31, 462-465.

2. Skog E, et al., A randomized trial comparing cadexomer iodine and standard treatment in the outpatient management of chronic venous ulcers. Br. J. Derm.,, 1983, 109, 77-83.

3. Ormiston MC, et al., Controlled trial of Iodosorb in chronic venous ulcers, Br. med. J., 1985, 291, 308-310.

4. Hansson C., The effects of cadexomer iodine paste in the treatment of venous leg ulcers compared with hydrocolloid dressing and paraffin gauze dressing. Cadexomer Iodine Study Group. Int J Dermatol 1998; 37(5): 390-396.

5. Mertz P.M. et al, The evaluation of a cadexomer iodine wound dressing on methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in acute wounds. Dermatol Surg 1999; 25(2): 89-93.

6. Zhou LH, Nahm WK, Badiavas E, et al. Slow release iodine preparation and wound healing: in vitro effects consistent with lack of in vivo toxicity in human chronic wounds. Br J Dermatol 2002; 146:365-367

7. Mertz PM et al., Wounds 1996; 8 (1): 1-8.

8. Falanga V. Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Advances in Wound Management, Macmillan magazines Ltd. London 1997.

Revision Details

Revision AuthorDr S. Thomas
Revision No 1.6
Revision date2002/07/14

This datacard has been prepared from data provided by the manufacturer and/or from published literature.

All materials copyright © 1992-2007 by the Surgical Materials Testing Lab. unless otherwise stated.

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Last Modified: Thursday, 27-Mar-2003 11:54:49 GMT