Table of Contents
Route of Administration – Definition
Route of Administration – the method by which a person takes or receives a drug. The common routes administration are oral (by mouth), sublingual (beneath the tongue), injection, topical, transdermal, and rectal.
Women may use some drugs intravaginally. Some drugs are available only in certain forms, such as injectable.
Many drugs are available in numerous forms. Factors that influence the selected route of administration include the drug’s formulation and the person’s ability to take or receive a particular form of the drug. For example, a young child or person who has difficulty swallowing or is experiencing nausea and vomiting may better handle a drug administered by transdermal patch, injection, or rectal suppository. Injection allows the most rapid delivery; other forms allow slower entry of the drug into the blood circulation.
|ROUTE OF DRUG ADMINISTRATION|
|injection||intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), subcutaneous (SC)||IV: into a vein, direct entry to the blood circulation|
IM: into a muscle; rapid absorption into the blood circulation
SC: into the fatty tissue beneath the skin; slow absorption into the blood circulation
|oral (per os or PO)||tablet, capsule, liquid||digestion breaks down the product, with absorption usually in the small intestine|
|rectal||suppository||Soft carrier wax melts, drug becomes absorbed into the blood circulation through the wall of the rectum|
|sublingual (SL)||tablet, liquid||dissolves under the tongue, becoming absorbed into the blood circulation through the mucosa of the mouth|
|topical||cream, ointment, gel, lotion, spray||intended to remain within the layers of the skin|
|transdermal||patch, cream, ointment||intended to be absorbed through the skin into the blood circulation|
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