Advanced Solid Formulations For Vulvovaginal Candidiasis

Pharm Res. 2023 Feb;40(2):593-610. doi: 10.1007/s11095-022-03441-5. Epub 2022 Nov 30.


Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is an opportunistic and endogenous infection caused by a fungus of the Candida genus, which can cause pruritus, dysuria, vulvar edema, fissures and maceration of the vulva. The treatment of vaginal candidiasis is carried out mainly by antifungal agents of azole and polyene classes; however, fungal resistance cases have been often observed. For this reason, new therapeutic agents such as essential oils, probiotics and antimicrobial peptides are being investigated, which can be combined with conventional drugs. Local administration of antimicrobials has also been considered to allow greater control of drug delivery and reduce or avoid undesirable systemic adverse effects. Conventional dosage forms such as creams and ointments result in reduced residence time in the mucosa and non-sustained and variable drug delivery. Therefore, advanced solid formulations such as intravaginal rings, vaginal films, sponges and nanofibers have been purposed. In these systems, polymers in different ratios are combined aiming to achieve a specific drug release profile and high mucoadhesion. Overall, a more porous matrix structure leads to a higher rate of drug release and mucoadhesion. The advantages, limitations and technological aspects of each dosage form are discussed in detail in this review.

Keywords: drug delivery; solid formulation; vaginal formulations; vulvovaginal candidiasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents
  • Candida
  • Candida albicans
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal* / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal* / microbiology
  • Drug Compounding
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Female
  • Humans


  • Antifungal Agents