About 40% of newly-discovered entities are poorly soluble in water, and this may be an obstacle in the creation
of new drugs. To address this problem, the present review article examines the structure and properties of cyclodextrins and
the formation and potential uses of drug – cyclodextrin inclusion complexes. Cyclodextrins are cyclic oligosaccharides containing six or more D-(+)-glucopyranose units linked by α-1,4-glycosidic bonds which are characterized by a favourable
toxicological profile, low local toxicity and low mucous and eye irritability; they are virtually non-toxic when administered
orally. They can be incorporated in the formulation of new drugs in their natural form (α-, β-, γ-cyclodextrin) or as chemically-modified derivatives. They may also be used as an excipient in drugs delivered by oral, ocular, dermal, nasal and rectal
routes, as described in the present paper. Cyclodextrins are promising compounds with many beneficial properties, and their
use may be increasingly profitable for pharmaceutical scientists.