Administration of Medicine

the different routes of medicine administration.
There are various routes of administration available, each of which has associated advantages and disadvantages. All the routes of drug administration need to be understood in terms of their implications for the effectiveness of the drug therapy and the patient’s experience of drug treatment.
Routes of administration
  * Oral
  * Sublingual
  * Rectal
  * Topical
  * Parenteral – Intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous
Oral administration
This is the most frequently used route of drug administration and is the most convenient and economic. Solid dose forms such as tablets and capsules have a high degree of drug stability and provide accurate dosage. The oral route is nevertheless problematic because of the unpredictable nature of gastro-intestinal drug absorption. For example the presence of food in the gastrointestinal tract may alter the gut pH, gastric motility and emptying time, as well as the rate and extent of drug absorption.
The extent to which patients can tolerate solid dose forms also varies, particularly in very young and older patients. In such cases the use of liquids or soluble formulations may be helpful. Many drugs, however, are not stable in solution for liquid formulation and in such cases careful consideration should be given to the option of switching to alternative drug treatment.
Difficulties frequently arise with patients who are prescribed modified-release preparations as these must not be crushed or broken at the point of administration. Modified-release formulations can delay, prolong or target drug delivery. The aim is to maintain plasma drug concentrations for extended periods above the minimum effective concentration.
For patients, their main advantage is that doses usually only need to be taken once or twice daily. Damage to the release controlling mechanism, for example by chewing or crushing, can result in the full dose of drug being released at once rather than...