The use of natural compounds has recently been reconsidered in modern clinical practice. A further advancement of these compounds is represented by the possibility of using innovative drug delivery systems that can improve the biopharmaceutical features of the delivered compounds. This review examines the recent developments in the field of delivery of natural drugs belonging to several therapeutic classes. In particular, the examined therapeutic classes are: antitumoral drugs, i.e. paclitaxel, doxorubicin, tea catechins and hypericin; anti-infective drugs, i.e. Melaleuca alternifolia and Artemisia arborescens L.; and antinflammatory/antioxidant drugs, i.e. cannabinoids and glycyrrhizinates used for topical application. In this review we highlight the utility of a suitable drug delivery system to improve the biopharmaceutical aspects of these drugs. The examined carriers are: vesicular carriers (liposomes, Ethosomes®, ultradeformable liposomes), nano- and microparticles, innovative gels, microemulsions.
Keywords: Natural compounds, antitumoral drugs, anti-infective drugs, antiinflammatory drugs, drug delivery systems, vesicles, nanoparticles, microemulsions, cyclodextrins
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