Vaginal infections are one of the most common gynecological problems. The lower female genital tract can be infected by various pathogens such as virus (human immunodeficiency virus, HIV), bacteria (Gardnerella vaginalis), fungi (Candida spp.) or parasites (Trichomonas vaginalis).
The vagina is the local site for the delivery of therapeutic agents. Depending on the antimicrobial agents, different dosage forms have been developed, comprising of douches, creams, ointments, gels, foams, tablets, ovules, rings, tampons and, more recently, vaginal films. Innovative approaches, like encapsulation technologies, have emerged in an attempt to overcome several limitations of the existing systems for vaginal administration of therapeutic agents.
This review explores the antimicrobial agents that can be used for vaginal infections therapy, the various vaginal dosage forms to deliver these therapeutic agents, their advantages and limitations and the novel advances in the area of vaginal drug delivery.