Long-acting drug delivery systems: Applications for sexual and reproductive health
Galal S., Jones C., Coward K.
Sexual and reproductive health is a vital field of medicine, which faces with many challenges, including contraception, sexually infectious diseases, infertility, and cancers. The available therapeutic approaches rely mainly on medical rather than surgical approach. However, the medical approach is significantly limited by the short action of the available drugs, thus relying on patient compliance, in addition to the need of repetitive doses that increase the risk of systemic side effects. Therefore novel techniques that provide long-acting drug delivery systems and selective targeting of organs are crucial. In this chapter, advances and potential applications of novel long-acting delivery systems such as nanoparticles, liposomes, and others are discussed. These systems led to the successful targeting of organs and a significant reduction in the dosage of the drug administrated, hence limiting systemic side effects. In the context of sexual and reproductive health, we highlight the significant role of these systems in improving the management of many gynecological cancers, AIDS, and other pathological conditions. We also provide updates for the systems that are already present on the market such as contraceptive methods and AIDS prophylaxis.