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  • Pharmacy Overview

  • Pharmacy Overview


    Pharmacy is simply defined as the art and science of preparing and dispensing medications. Pharmacists also monitor a large array of drugs, consult medical professionals, and perform research. Pharmacologic compounds can have very potent effects on human physiology, so pharmacists must consistently be vigilant of dosages and drug interactions.

    Routes of Administration

    Pharmaceutical drugs differ in the best method of intake into the human body. Some drugs can tolerate the acidic environment of the stomach, and are thus able to be taken orally. Others are more effective if given directly into the bloodstream or breathed into the lungs.

    Oral medications are taken through the mouth. This is the most common and convenient way of delivering drugs into the system. Depending on how the drugs interact with the stomach acids and the time needed to pass through the gastrointestinal system, drugs may be recommended to be taken with or without food.

    Intravenous (IV) medication is injected into a blood vessel, typically a vein, for direct entry into circulation.

    Intramuscular medication is added via injection into muscle.

    Medication that is delivered subcutaneously is injected directly under the outer layers of skin. Some local anesthetics use this form of drug delivery.

    Sublingual medication is placed under the tongue. The drugs can be absorbed into the blood vessels in the region and can enter general circulation before passing through the liver.

    Rectal medication is introduced through the anus.

    Medication delivered via inhalation may be in a liquid mist or gaseous form. Bronchodilators for asthma and some experimental flu vaccines use this form of administration.

    Topical medications are applied onto the skin surface. Many dermatologic ointments commonly use this form of administration.

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