Efficacy and safety of vitamin C vaginal tablets in the treatment of non-specific vaginitis. A randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2004 Nov 10;117(1):70-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2004.02.032.


Methods: This was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Vitamin C vaginal tablets (250 mg) given once a day in patients suffering from non-specific vaginitis. The total length of the study was 20 days, including a treatment phase of 6 days. The primary end-point was the presence in the two groups of non-specific vaginitis 1 and 2 weeks after the end of treatment, as assessed by at least 3 out of the 4 characteristic symptoms: discharge, fishy odour, vaginal pH >/= 4.7, and presence of clue cells. Secondary end-points were the individual symptoms and signs, above reported, and pruritus, fever, superinfections, microscopic findings on vaginal smear, and colposcopy.

Patients: One hundred female patients aged 18 years or older and suffering from non-specific vaginitis were included in the study after giving their informed consent. Fifty were randomised to the active treatment and 50 to placebo. Seven patients, three in the Vitamin C group and four in the placebo group, were lost to follow-up and did not complete the treatment period. Two patients in the active group showed protocol deviations (age under 18 years and HIV-positive, respectively). The two groups resulted comparable for demographics, history and baseline clinical picture.

Results: A cluster analysis of the four main symptoms showed a statistically significant difference between the active group and the placebo group; significantly more patients were still affected by non-specific vaginitis after placebo (35.7%) compared to patients treated with Vitamin C tablets (14.0%). The meaningful secondary variable, referring to the microscopic examination of vaginal smear, supported the trend for efficacy in the Vitamin C treated group. The clue cells disappeared in 79% of patients treated with the drug and in 53% of patients on placebo. Similarly, bacteria disappeared in 77 and 54%, respectively, while lactobacilli reappeared in 79.1 and 53.3%, respectively. Vaginal pH values decreased significantly in both groups, but the frequency rate of subjects with pH >/= 4.7, as measured 1 week after the drug discontinuation, was significantly lesser in the Vitamin C group (16.3%) than in the placebo group (38.6%). Adverse events occurred in four patients, two on placebo (pruritus, cystitis) and two on Vitamin C (two candidiasis).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / adverse effects
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Placebo Effect
  • Safety
  • Tablets
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaginal Creams, Foams, and Jellies / administration & dosage
  • Vaginitis / drug therapy*


  • Antioxidants
  • Tablets
  • Vaginal Creams, Foams, and Jellies
  • Ascorbic Acid