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