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11 Cards in this Set

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Which route of administration is used for a particular drug in a particular situation depends on many factors.
These factors, and some questions to be considered, include:
Status of the Patient.

Other Drugs "On Board".

Duration of Treatment.

Latency to Effect.

Target of Administered Drug.


Formulation of the Drug.
Status of the Patient.

Is the patient conscious or unconscious?
Obviously an unconscious the patient can not voluntarily swallow any liquid or solid formulation of a drug.
Status of the Patient.
Is the patient an infant or child or is the patient aged?
The very young and the aged have some organs (particularly the liver) which function somewhat differently to that of the healthy adult and those issues need to be considered when the route of administration and formulation of the drug are determined. Such differences of organ function represent physiological differences not pathophysiological differences.
Status of the Patient.
Does the patient have a pathophysiology?
If the individual has a disease or condition other than that for which treatment is currently being considered, then the effects of that condition or disease must be taken into account when determining the best route of administration (and other factors) of a drug to be used for the current situation.
Status of the Patient.
Is the patient able to follow instructions?
Self medication may be possible in most adults but not in those with a neurodegenerative disease in which memory and cognitive function is compromised. Self medication is not possible for some physically disabled individuals and in the very young.
Status of the Patient.
Is the patient in a emergency situation?
Delivery of a drug may be through a different route when considering a healthy adult and when considering the same individual who has undergone very recent trauma.
Questions to ask one's self in regards to Other Drugs "On Board".
Are there other drugs already in the body or "on board" which may influence the route by which a new drug should be administered? A drug already in the body may influence absorption of a second drug from some sites of administration but not others.
Questions to ask one's self in regards to Duration of Treatment.
Is the drug to be administered in a single dose on a single occasion or must it be administered repeatedly or continuously over a period of hours or longer?
Questions to ask one's self in regards to Latency to Effect.
Is it critically important that the drug effect be essentially immediate following administration or can the drug effect be delayed (as a consequence of route of administration chosen) after administration without harm to or to the benefit of the patient?
Questions to ask one's self in regards to Target of Administered Drug.
Will a drug administered by a particular route be delivered to the desired target site at sufficient concentration to have the desired therapeutic effect?
Will a drug administered by a particular route be delivered to the desired target site to have the desired therapeutic effect but also be delivered to other sites (cells, tissues and organs) and consequently have undesired side effects?
Questions to ask one's self in regards to Formulation of the Drug.
Is the formulation of the drug suitable for the route of administration chosen?
Is the formulation of the drug suitable for the patient? An adult may be able to swallow a tablet form of a drug that must be given in liquid form to a young child.