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Transdermal delivery of contraceptives.

Author information

  • Department of Controlled Release and Biomedical Polymers, SRI International, Menlo Park, California 94025.

Abstract

Contraceptive agents are administered to the body through a variety of routes. Research has recently been directed at examining the transdermal route for systemic delivery of contraceptive agents, including estrogens and progestins. The transdermal route has several potential advantages over the other routes of administration: (1) improved compliance, (2) once-weekly administration, (3) delivery is easily terminated, and (4) some side effects can be alleviated based on more constant delivery rates. This article reviews the permeability of skin toward contraceptive steroids and how skin permeability is evaluated. The metabolism of contraceptive steroids is also considered. Transdermal delivery systems used to deliver contraceptives are presented, followed by a detailed discussion of several delivery systems for specific contraceptive agents such as levonorgestrel and estradiol. The potential problem of skin irritation is presented as it relates to transdermal contraceptive delivery systems, all of which will be worn chronically.

PMID:
2272099
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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