Background: The frontline drug fluconazole (FLZ) has been used for treating skin fungal infections for over 35 years. FLZ has relatively large molecular size and hydrophobicity which improves its bioavailability via intravenous or oral routes but makes its use in a topical application problematic. In recent years, nano-based strategies have been examined to eliminate FLZ adverse effects and increase the drug efficiency. The present overview surveys nano-drug delivery systems used to improve FLZ efficiency; the strengths and weaknesses of the systems and the relevant achievements of pharmaceutical technology follow.
Methods: A systematic literature search study was developed based on the significant concepts being used in the review. Key search terms and a matrix-based search strategy using Boolean logic strategy were defined. Nano-formulations affecting dermal permeation of nanomaterials and experimental setups for studying skin absorbance of FLZ-nanomaterials were analysed.
Results: In recent years, nano-based strategies including solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs), liposomes, niosomes, ethosomes, microemulsions, nanoemulsions have been examined to increase FLZ antifungal efficiency and eliminate drug adverse effects. Significant differences was demonstrated in FLZ efficiency by different nanoparticles. Few data are available regarding a comparison of FLZ antifungal effects using various nanoparticles, but the present research suggests a positive impact on penetration.
Conclusion: Various nano-formulations have been applied to optimize fluconazole topical delivery. The present review indicated that the data related to improve fluconazole efficacy by nanoparticles are few and defining the appropriate nano-formulation is not currently possible. More research is needed to compare the capability of various nanoparticles on fluconazole skin permeation, and to translate these findings into clinical arena.