The CIVIC Blog

Principles Governing the Route of Medication Administration
Amanda McDonald
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Principles Governing the Route of Medication Administration

Which route of medication administration is best for YOU?

How to Ensure Optimal Treatment

Safety, efficacy, patient preference, and pharmacoeconomics are four principles governing the route of medication administration.  Safety and efficacy must be the preferred principles to be considered (eg, epinephrine should be given intramuscularly during an episode of systemic anaphylaxis). If the safety and efficacy of two routes are equivalent, clinicians should consider more about patient preference and pharmacoeconomics because patient preference will ensure optimal treatment adherence and ultimately improve patient experience or satisfaction, while pharmacoeconomic concern will help reduce overall health care costs.

Other Factors to Consider

Besides the se principles, the following detailed factors might affect the decision: patient characteristics-related factors (body mass index, age, sex, medical status [eg, renal impairment, comorbidities], personal attitudes toward safety and convenience, past experience, perception of current disease status, health literacy, and socioeconomic status), medication administration-related factors (anatomical site of injection, dose, frequency, formulation characteristics, administration time, indication, flexibility in the route of administration), and health care staff/institution-related factors (knowledge, human resources).

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