Lactic acid, citric acid, and potassium bitartrate non-hormonal prescription vaginal pH modulator (VPM) gel for the prevention of pregnancy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: A non-hormonal prescription vaginal pH modulator (VPM) gel (Phexxi®), with active ingredients lactic acid, citric acid and potassium bitartrate, has recently been approved for prevention of pregnancy in the United States. The objective of this review is to compile the evidence available from published preclinical and clinical trials to support its use. Areas covered: PubMed was searched for published literature on VPM gel. Two Phase III trials were found on clinicaltrials.gov database. The results demonstrated that VPM gel is safe, with minimal side effects, and effective (cumulative 6–7 cycle pregnancy rate of 4.1–13.65%, (Pearl Index 27.5) as a contraceptive. Microbicidal effects suggest potential for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs); currently a Phase III clinical trial is being conducted to evaluate prevention of chlamydia and gonorrhea. Expert opinion: Non-hormonal reversible contraceptive options have been limited to the highly effective copper-releasing intrauterine device that requires insertion by a trained clinician, and less effective coitally associated barrier and spermicide options which are typically available over-the-counter. Spermicides, which improve efficacy of barrier devices, may increase the risk of HIV/STIs. VPM gel provides a new safe, effective non-hormonal contraceptive option, with potential for prevention of STIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Pharmacology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Citric acid
  • lactic acid
  • non-hormonal contraception
  • potassium bitartrate
  • topical vaginal contraceptive
  • vaginal pH modulator (VPM) gel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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