Drug Administration

  • Debra Si Mui Sim


Many drugs do not make it from bench to bedside because of poor pharmacokinetic properties. Many medicines fail to save lives or achieve their optimal potentials because practitioners are ill equipped in their pharmacokinetic knowledge. Before a drug can produce its desired clinical effect, it must first be able to reach its target site, be it on the body surface or inside the body. The amount of a drug and the rate at which the drug reaches the target site depend in part on the route taken to administer the drug. The choice of the route of drug administration in turn depends on various factors which are related to therapeutic concerns and drug properties. The therapeutic concerns include questions relating to the desired onset rate and duration of drug action, where the drug target site is (readily accessible or not) and whether or not patient compliance is an issue. The drug properties to be taken into account include its physicochemical characteristics (e.g., lipid solubility, molecular size, ionization status) and plasma concentration-time profile. Drugs can be administered by a wide variety of routes, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore making a right choice of route may be the start of a successful therapeutic intervention.


Pharmacokinetics Routes of administration Enteral routes Parenteral injections Route of choice First-pass effect Local or systemic effect 

Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Lehman DF. Teaching from catastrophe: using therapeutic misadventures from hydromorphone to teach key principles in clinical pharmacology. J Clin Pharmacol. 2011;51(11):1595–602.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lin JH, Lu AYH. Role of pharmacokinetics and metabolism in drug discovery and development. Pharmacol Rev. 1997;49(4):403–49.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Prentis RA, Lis Y, Walker SR. Pharmaceutical innovation by the seven UK-owned pharmaceutical companies (1964–1985). Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1988;25(3):387–96.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

Personalised recommendations