Correct administration of medication

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Correct administration of medication

Author: Reilika Nestor 14.12.2014 at 00:00

Doctors prescribe medication depending on complaints. They will consider whether the condition is acute (more likely to be one-time and with a sudden on-set) or chronic (periodic and frequent), and then establish its distinctive symptoms. The physician will also consider a patient’s age, gender and, in some cases, their developed or existing sensitivity towards medication. They will also have to take into consideration the immediate effects of a medicinal product. After this, the physician will provide the patient with a prescription detailing the method, time, frequency, and dosage of the drug. Final effectiveness of the prescribed medicine depends largely on adherence to given instructions.

Medicine knows many methods of administration:

  • oral
  • rectal
  • percutaneous injection
  • muscle injection
  • venous injection
  • spinal injection
  • inhalation
  • topical application
  • rubbing into skin

Oral administration is the most popular method of use since it's the easiest to follow outside healthcare facilities. You can orally use powders, pills, solutions and other medication in liquid form.

Doctors often note that medication should be administered before or after a meal. At times, the nature of the meal after which medication is used is also important. There are usually also instructions on what to drink on medication. Confirm everything with your attending physician, since they can consider your individual condition. If you have forgotten to ask for specific instructions, it’s always more reasonable to take medication after a meal, as this limits the danger of complications and adverse effects.

People often question whether to chew a pill or swallow it intact. Always swallow pills whole, as they have a protective layer similar to capsules. They’re quite slick and are easily ingested. Therefore, swallowing them shouldn’t be a problem. In some cases, the medication might lose its effect when the capsule is opened, and the powder inside the capsule can damage the stomach and esophagus.

Always swallow pills standing up. When you take a pill while lying or sitting down, it can get stuck in your gullet and damage it, causing pain and heartburn.

When taking medication, always drink half a glass of lukewarm water and then stand or walk for 10 minutes. You shouldn’t drink other liquids with medication as they can influence the effect of the preparation.

For example, milk blocks absorption of broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline). Fruit and vegetable juices also dampen the effect of certain antibiotics, as do sweet syrups used in lemonades and other sweet beverages.

A definite rule of thumb is that smoking, alcohol and drugs don’t ever go well with medication!

It would be smart to check your home medical supplies once in a while to be sure you don’t have expired medication. Always throw them away to avoid accidental poisoning.

When using two or more medicinal products, always consult with a physician as it may be a harmful combination.

Many medicinal products are injected to avoid metabolization in the gastrointestinal tract. Penicillin is injected since it is decomposed in gastric acid. Some medicines cannot be absorbed through digestion and they have to be injected. Injections are also preferred when treating localized conditions. For example, in case of neurological disorders substances are injected to the spinal canal. Ointments, powders, and plasters usually have a local antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving effect.
Topical medication is absorbed through fat and sweat glands, and hair follicles. Their absorption rate is significantly increased if used on damaged skin.

The most important thing to remember is to consult your attending physician on best practices for taking medication. It’s very likely you’ll have to go through a few tests to give your doctor a better overview of medication that suits you best.