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ACIDFORM: a review of the evidence

      Abstract

      Objective

      ACIDFORM is a candidate microbicide with spermicidal properties. A large Phase 3 trial is underway, and it is anticipated that this product will be approved for contraceptive use and marketed soon in the United States. The goal of this article is to critically review the evidence supporting the properties, safety profile and different uses of ACIDFORM gel.

      Study design

      We searched PubMed and Medline for any published literature on ACIDFORM.

      Results

      ACIDFORM is an acidifying agent that works by lowering the vaginal pH to enhance the normal vaginal defenses. In addition to strong acid-buffering properties, ACIDFORM has high bioadhesive and viscosity-retaining properties. Several Phase 1 clinical trials have demonstrated the vaginal safety of ACIDFORM used alone or in combination with a diaphragm, although dose-dependent side effects appear to be present. Studies investigating the efficacy of ACIDFORM against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are promising, but further trials are needed.

      Conclusions

      The properties of ACIDFORM offer many advantages for use, either alone or in combination with another active ingredient, such as Tenofovir. Potential applications for ACIDFORM include use as a personal lubricant, a vaginal contraceptive (alone or with a barrier method) and a microbicidal product or as a formulation vehicle for an active ingredient.

      Implications

      ACIDFORM is a candidate female-controlled vaginal preparation with microbicidal and spermicidal properties. A dual protection method could prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of STI acquisition.

      Keywords

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