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.
|buccal||held inside the cheek|
|enteral||delivered directly into the stomach or intestine (with a G-tube or J-tube)|
|inhalable||breathed in through a tube or mask|
|infused||injected into a vein with an IV line and slowly dripped in over time|
|intramuscular||injected into muscle with a syringe|
|intrathecal||injected into your spine|
|intravenous||injected into a vein or into an IV line|
|nasal||given into the nose by spray or pump|
|ophthalmic||given into the eye by drops, gel, or ointment|
|oral||swallowed by mouth as a tablet, capsule, lozenge, or liquid|
|otic||given by drops into the ear|
|rectal||inserted into the rectum|
|subcutaneous||injected just under the skin|
|sublingual||held under the tongue|
|topical||applied to the skin|
|transdermal||given 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.