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Parenteral Route of Drug Administration

  • Author: Pankaj
  • Create Time: 29/07/2011 20:21:34
  • Last Update Time: 29/07/2011 20:22:25

Parenteral Route of Drug Administration

The term parenteral is used when drug is administered through other than enteral route and systemic action is required. Desired effect is systemic, substance is given by routes other than the digestive tract or topical application.

Types of Parenteral Routes

  • Intravenous also popularly known as I.V. which is given directly into a vein with injection. As the drug direclty gose in to the systemic circulation, the rapidally reaches to the site of action and the onset of action is quick (within minuets) e.g. many drugs, total parenteral nutrition.
  • Intra-arterial is given  into an artery through injection, e.g. vasodilator drugs in the treatment of vasospasm and thrombolytic drugs for treatment of embolism. The onset of action is similar to IV route.
  • Intraosseous infusion (into the bone marrow) is, in effect, an indirect intravenous access because the bone marrow drains directly into the venous system. This route is occasionally used for drugs and fluids in emergency medicine and pediatrics when intravenous access is difficult.
  • Intra-muscular injection given to the muscular part of the body.
  • Intrathecal: Drug is direcly administered in to the spinal cord

Advantages of Parenteral Drug Administration

Parenteral drug is idministered with the use of injections. In market formulations like ampoules, vials and sometimes readymade syringes (Insulin) are available for injecteble drugs. The Parenteral rout maily encompasses intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), and subcutaneous (subcut)


  • Onset of action is very fast 15–30 seconds for IV, 3–5 minutes for IM and subcutaneous (subcut)
  • Bioavailability of drug is 100%
  • Suitable for drugs not absorbed by the gut or those that are too irritant (anti-cancer)
  • One injection can be formulated to last days or even months, e.g., Depo-Provera, a birth control shot that works for three months
  • IV can deliver continuous medication, e.g., morphine for patients in continuous pain, or saline drip for people needing fluids
  • In a case when patient is not able to take drug through GI route (unconcious or mergency)

Disadvantages of Parenteral Drug Administration


  • More risk of addiction when it comes to injecting drugs of abuse, as onset of action is quick,
  • Route is not feasible as patients are not typically able to self-administer
  • Belonephobia, the fear of needles and injection.
  • High risk of HIV and other infectious diseases, if needles are shared
  • It is the most dangerous route of administration because it bypasses most of the body's natural defenses, exposing the user to health problems such as hepatitis, abscesses, infections, and undissolved particles or additives/contaminants
  • If proper care is not taken while injecting, potentially fatal air boluses (bubbles) can occur.
  • Strict asepsis is needed
  • The cost of injection is hifher than tablets, capsules or other oral dosage forms
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35 piece(s) of feedback were found. 31 were marked helpful.
Rosales Vazquez   23/05/2015 11:17:22  
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Anas Abbas   12/03/2015 16:08:07  
arjun   10/03/2015 17:47:11  
arjun   10/03/2015 17:47:05  
faiza   23/02/2015 17:52:29  
[Helpful]    not fonud
idrees   30/01/2015 21:47:29  
[Helpful]    no
Atta Ullah   09/12/2014 10:10:06  
Loretta Green   18/11/2014 00:40:26  
[Comment Only]    This article contains an unacceptable amount of typos and/or spelling errors.  The appearance of professionalism suffers as a result.
Rea Rivera   08/11/2014 06:55:01  
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Aya Emad   05/11/2014 22:37:06  
[Helpful]   good :) 
chizy dominic   22/09/2014 22:56:21  
[Helpful]    very Helpful
ananth   18/09/2014 13:27:28  
Bak Khan   05/09/2014 04:32:08  
[Comment Only]   <p>Several grammatical and spelling errors:</p><p>1. 'Direclty gose' should be directly goes.</p><p>2. 'rapidally' should be rapidly.</p><p>3. 'Minuets' should be minutes.</p><p>4. 'Idministered' should be administered.</p><p>5. 'rout maily' should be route mainly.</p><p>6. 'injecteble' should be injectable.</p><p>7. 'Hifher' should be higher.</p>
Douglas   23/07/2014 12:15:47  
[Helpful]    Thank you...i have learn something new i have never seen before<br />
lashone   13/05/2014 23:59:17  
[Helpful]   very informative 
ciendie   26/03/2014 16:50:49  
[Helpful]    kudos
ciendie   26/03/2014 16:48:42  
[Helpful]    kudos
ciendie   26/03/2014 16:48:41  
[Helpful]    kudos
ciendie   26/03/2014 16:48:39  
[Helpful]    kudos
ciendie   26/03/2014 16:48:35  
[Helpful]    kudos
pravas ranjan misra   20/02/2014 13:16:15  
[Helpful]    I hant the herbal drug preparation administered parenterally
pravas ranjan misra   20/02/2014 13:16:12  
[Helpful]    I hant the herbal drug preparation administered parenterally
sarah   23/11/2013 19:58:42  
ZOYA   09/11/2013 15:16:26  
[Comment Only]   it could b more informable,, some important points are missing... but its not bad.
ZOYA   09/11/2013 15:16:24  
[Comment Only]   it could b more informable,, some important points are missing... but its not bad.
prakash   27/10/2013 21:54:49  
Getaye Tessema   22/10/2013 14:45:32  
[Helpful]    so nice
noor muhamma   17/10/2013 19:07:12  
[Helpful]   love study 
shawn   04/09/2013 17:56:09  
[Helpful]   noneqwqdasdqwdaSDAdswqd\zdwD q  
raj   03/08/2013 08:41:25  
[Helpful]    Very good site for pharmacy students
raj   03/08/2013 08:41:17  
[Helpful]    Very good site for pharmacy students
simon ikechukwu   03/06/2013 05:17:58  
catherine kendi   22/04/2013 17:58:30  
[Helpful]    These note atleast remind  of pharmacology introduction in the collage some points are so petty to remember.<br /><br />   10/07/2012 18:56:04  
[Helpful]   hiiiiiiiii   10/07/2012 18:56:01  
[Helpful]   hiiiiiiiii