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Drug delivery by the intravaginal route.

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School of Pharmacy, The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.


The human vagina represents a potential, accessible space that offers a valuable route for drug delivery through the use of specifically designed carrier systems for both local and systemic applications. Intravaginal drug delivery is particularly appropriate for drugs associated with women's health issues but may also have applications in general drug delivery within the female population. A range of drug delivery platforms suitable for intravaginal administration are discussed in this review, including hydrogels, vaginal tablets, pessaries/suppositories, particulate systems, and intravaginal rings. Drug release mechanisms and absorption pathways are reviewed with respect to a range of therapeutic and prophylactic indications for intravaginal delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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