Emerging Trends and Potential Prospects in Vaginal Drug Delivery.
- Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Curr Drug Deliv, 2022, 19
- Issue Date:
The vagina is an essential part of the female reproductive system and offers many potential benefits over conventional drug delivery including a large surface area for drug absorption, relatively low enzymatic activity, avoids first-pass effects, and ease of administration. The vaginal mucosal cavity is an effective route for administering therapeutic agents that are intended both for local and systemic administration. The present review provides a comprehensive overview of recent trends and developments in vaginal drug delivery. Marketed formulations and products under clinical study are also reviewed. Various novel vaginal delivery systems have been studied in recent years as an effective tool for delivering a range of therapeutic agents to the vagina. These systems offer numerous benefits, including sustained delivery, improved bioavailability, effective permeation, and higher efficacy. The recent focus of the scientific community is on the development of safe and efficient drug delivery systems such as nanoparticles, microparticles, vesicular systems, vaginal rings, microneedles, etc. for vaginal application. Various factors such as the physicochemical properties of the drugs, the volume and composition of the vaginal fluid, the pH of the vaginal fluid, the thickness of the vaginal epithelium, and the influence of sexual intercourse may influence the release of drugs from the delivery system and subsequent absorption from the vaginal route. To date, only limited number of in vivo studies on novel vaginal DDS have been reported. Additionally, drug release kinetics under varying vaginal environments is also not well understood. More research is needed to ensure the suitability, biocompatibility, and therapeutic effectiveness of novel DDS for vaginal delivery. Although numerous strategies and interventions have been developed, clinical translation of these systems remains a challenge. The toxicity of the carrier system is also an important consideration for future clinical applications.
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