The routes of administration of the medicines are the entry routes to organism influencing the latency, intensity and duration of the pharmacological effect . According to Dr. Yamilka L. Sánchez, an academic Department of Pharmacology of the Faculty of Medicine-University of Panama , knowing the advantages and disadvantages of these pathways is very important to know how to take advantage of medicines in a certain situation.
Depending on which one is chosen, the speed of action, efficacy and adverse effects of the drugs will depend. The routes of administration are classified as: 1) Enteral.- When drugs are introduced into the body through the natural orifices of the body and related to the intestine and gastrointestinal tract: oral, sublingual or rectal 2) Parenteral.- To be infiltrated by a hypodermic hollow needle 3) Topical.- When medications are administered to the skin or mucous membranes for a local effect 4) Transdermal.- When applied by patches on the skin for a systemic effect
According to the specialist, the medication administered orally has numerous advantages: it is comfortable, simple, economical, safe and allows self-administration. However, they have their disadvantages: some cause irritation and affect the stomach pH; Its absorption is irregular, some drugs require the previous intake of food, others destroy enzymes and natural bacteria in the body and, in some cases, the patient forgets to take them.
The medicines that are placed under the tongue have the advantage of being absorbed quickly and almost do not affect the liver; however, they have the disadvantage that the absorption area is small and not all drugs can be administered by this route.
Drugs applied rectally, although they can cause irritation and discomfort, have the advantage that they are useful in patients who can not swallow, who present intense vomiting and are suitable in the case of unconscious patients.
On the other hand, the advantage of injections is that they have a rapid effect and are useful in the treatment of emergencies and in unconscious patients. Its disadvantages? The asepsis, are painful and expensive, do not allow self-administration and, in any case, requires trained or trained personnel to apply them.
In the case of oily or irritant substances, it is important to know what type of injection is best, either intravenous or intramuscular, and although the effect of both is prolonged and sustained, there is also a risk of adverse reactions in certain patients and some may interfere with anticoagulants.
Finally, Dr. Sánchez notes that the administration of drugs by inhalation is welcome because the surface of absorption is broad and allows a great blood supply, its effects are local and systemic and avoids the so-called first pass effect. The bad thing is that they can cause irritation, there is a difficult handling of certain pharmaceutical forms and you can not regulate the amount of medication that the person receives.
In the case of the route of topical administration, the systemic reactions decrease and its effects are well localized, although it can produce irritation and, in some cases, the dose can not be regulated.