Routes of Drug Delivery

A route of administration is the path by which a drug, fluid, poison, or other substance is taken into the body. Routes of administration are generally classified by the location at which the substance is applied. Common examples include oral and intravenous administration. Routes can also be classified based on where the target of action is. Action may be topical (local), enteral (system-wide effect, but delivered through the gastrointestinal tract), or parenteral (systemic action, but delivered by routes other than the GI tract).

Routes of administration are usually classified by application location (or exposition). The route or course the active substance takes from application location to the location where it has its target effect is usually rather a matter of pharmacokinetics (concerning the processes of uptake, distribution, and elimination of drugs). Nevertheless, some routes, especially the transdermal or transmucosal routes are commonly referred to routes of administration. The location of the target effect of active substances is usually rather a matter of pharmacodynamics (concerning e.g. the physiological effects of drugs). Furthermore, there is also a classification of routes of administration that basically distinguishes whether the effect is local (in "topical" administration) or systemic (in "enteral" or "parenteral" administration).

  • Drug delivery systems
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Targeted drug delivery
  • Controlled release
  • Protein/peptide delivery Drug formulations

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