September 20, 2020 importance of taking drugs the right way

Why It’s Important to Take Drugs the Right Way

Introduction into importance of taking drugs the right way

We take medications to diagnose, treat, or prevent illness. They come in lots of different forms and we take them in many different ways. You may take a drug yourself, or a healthcare provider may give it to you.

Drugs can be dangerous, though, even when they’re meant to improve our health. Taking them correctly and understanding the right way to administer them can reduce the risks. Read on to learn the importance of using medication as directed.

Routes of medication administration/importance of taking drugs the right way

There are several different ways drugs can be administered. You’re probably familiar with injections and pills that you swallow, but medications can be given in many other ways as well.

Routes of medication administration are described in the table below.

RouteExplanation
buccalheld inside the cheek
enteraldelivered directly into the stomach or intestine (with a G-tube or J-tube)
inhalablebreathed in through a tube or mask
infusedinjected into a vein with an IV line and slowly dripped in over time
intramuscularinjected into muscle with a syringe
intrathecalinjected into your spine
intravenousinjected into a vein or into an IV line
nasalgiven into the nose by spray or pump
ophthalmicgiven into the eye by drops, gel, or ointment
oralswallowed by mouth as a tablet, capsule, lozenge, or liquid
oticgiven by drops into the ear
rectalinserted into the rectum
subcutaneousinjected just under the skin
sublingualheld under the tongue
topicalapplied to the skin
transdermalgiven through a patch placed on the skin

The route used to give a drug depends on three main factors:

  • the part of the body being treated
  • the way the drug works within the body
  • the formula of the drug

For instance, some drugs are destroyed by stomach acid if they’re taken by mouth. So, they may have to be given by injection instead.

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