Journal article Open Access
Manikanta Kumar. Y.S.S
Many efforts have been made for drug administration through alternative routes after the poor absorption of drugs through oral route. Then the vaginal drug delivery system has been rediscovered for drug absorption. This system has been known and followed from the ancient times. This is the best route and has the potential for the administration of proteins, peptides and many other therapeutic drugs like macro-molecules. For the administration of drug like contraceptives, steroids, metronidazole and anti-retroviral, vaginal drug delivery is the most optimal and favorable route. Hepatic - gastrointestinal first-pass metabolism, gastric impatience of drugs and vacillation of dosing interval possibilities can be prevented by the continuous infusion of drugs through vaginal mucosa. The rate and effect of drug absorption through vaginal route depends on the physiology of vagina, stages of menstrual cycle, age, pathological conditions, health conditions and formulation factors. Various dosage forms like suppositories, gels, creams, ointments, foams, vaginal rings are used in vaginal drug delivery system. The benefits of vaginal drug delivery system are it increases the bioavailability, least systemic side effects; easiness of use and self-medication is possible. However vaginal drug delivery system is considered as a less effective route because of the unfortunate absorption of drugs across the vaginal epithelium. This review gives an explanation of vaginal physiology, drug absorption through vagina, advantages and disadvantages and many other features of vaginal drug delivery systems and its pharmaceutical aspects.