How drugs are administered
A drug’s administration route influences the quantity given and the rate at which the drug is absorbed and distributed. These vari-ables affect the drug’s action and the patient’s response.
Routes of administration include:
· buccal, sublingual, translingual: certain drugs are given buc-cally (in the pouch between the cheek and gum), sublingually (un-der the tongue), or translingually (on the tongue) to speed their absorption or to prevent their destruction or transformation in the stomach or small intestine
· gastric: this route allows direct instillation of medication into the GI system of patients who can’t ingest the drug orally
· intradermal: substances are injected into the skin (dermis); this route is used mainly for diagnostic purposes when testing for allergies or tuberculosis
· intramuscular: this route allows drugs to be injected directly into various muscle groups at varying tissue depths; it’s used to give aqueous suspensions and solutions in oil, immunizations, and medications that aren’t available in oral form
· intravenous: the I.V. route allows injection of substances(drugs, fluids, blood or blood products, and diagnostic contrast agents) directly into the bloodstream through a vein; administra-tion can range from a single dose to an ongoing infusion delivered with great precision
· oral: this is usually the safest, most convenient, and least expen-sive route; drugs are administered to patients who are conscious and can swallow
· rectal and vaginal: suppositories, ointments, creams, gels, andtablets may be instilled into the rectum or vagina to treat local irri-tation or infection; some drugs applied to the mucosa of the rec-tum or vagina can be absorbed systemically
· respiratory: drugs that are available as gases can be adminis-tered into the respiratory system; drugs given by inhalation are rapidly absorbed, and medications given by such devices as the metered-dose inhaler can be self-administered, or drugs can be ad-ministered directly into the lungs through an endotracheal tube in emergency situations
· subcutaneous (subQ): with the subQ route, small amounts of adrug are injected beneath the dermis and into the subcutaneous tissue, usually in the patient’s upper arm, thigh, or abdomen
· topical: this route is used to deliver a drug through the skin or amucous membrane; it’s used for most dermatologic, ophthalmic, otic, and nasal preparations.
Drugs may also be given as specialized infusions injected di-rectly into a specific site in the patient’s body, such as an epidural infusion (into the epidural space), intrathecal infusion (into the cerebrospinal fluid), intrapleural infusion (into the pleural cavity), intraperitoneal infusion (into the peritoneal cavity), intraosseous infusion (into the rich vascular network of a long bone), and intra-articular infusion (into a joint)