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Why do drugs come in different forms?

Why do drugs come in different forms? Medications are often administered depending on their intended target organ and mode of action, therefore if one desires a medicine for the stomach, it makes sense to administer a tablet, which may then immediately enter the stomach and act.

This works if you have direct access to the desired organ, such as the stomach, intestines (particularly the large intestine via anal suppositories), mouth (by orally solvable pills), or skin (through ointments, lotions, etc.).

The issue arises when you require pharmaceuticals that act on organs that you do not have direct access to, such as the heart, brain, small intestine, pancreas, blood, and so on. 

We use various routes of administration and special formulations for these, such as capsules (which are not disintegrated by gastric acids and can directly go to the small intestine where they can dissolve and initiate their actions), buccal or dermal patches (where immediate action is desired but long-lasting action is desired), and so on.

According to the route of action:

1. If we require immediate treatment, we use sublingual tablets, which provide virtually instantaneous relief in emergency situations such as heart attacks, where nitroglycerine is administered.

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2. If there is no emergency, the oral route is the most preferred because it is the most comfortable and has the lowest cost, but it has other disadvantages such as irritation of the gastric mucosa, delayed onset of arrival, and other unwanted metabolic reactions such as drug being acted upon by intestinal enzymes.

Tablets (comprising a mixture of active substances and excipients, usually in powder form, pressed or compacted from a powder into a solid dose), capsules (where the drug is enclosed in a gel-like covering allowing it to pass through barriers such as stomach acids and be used as anal suppositories, liquid form of drugs can also be given as capsules), syrup (comprising a mixture of active substances and excipients, usually in powder form ( not much difference but some drugs are more active in liquid form, and sometimes its more comfortable like in case of children)

3. Topical: The likelihood of systemic adverse effects is lowered by delivering medications practically directly to the site of action. However, skin irritation may occur, and the dosage of some forms, such as creams or lotions, is difficult to monitor because it is dependent on the individual administering the lotion/cream.

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4. Inhalation: Medication inhaled is quickly absorbed and acts both locally and systemically. To achieve the optimal dose, proper technique with inhaler devices is required. Certain drugs may have an unpleasant taste or cause tongue irritation.

Inhaling a chemical through inhalers or smoking is likely the fastest route to deliver medications to the brain since the substance travels straight to the brain without being diluted in the systemic circulation and the effects are more intense. For example, cigarette smoking

5. Infusion: Intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), and subcutaneous (SC) administration are all included in the word injection. Injections work quickly, with the IV acting in 15-30 seconds, the IM acting in 10-20 minutes, and the SC acting in 15-30 minutes.

They also have nearly 100% bioavailability, which means that all medications are injected directly into the system; this can be useful for drugs that are poorly absorbed or ineffective when administered orally.

Some drugs, such as antipsychotics, can be given as long-acting intramuscular injections. Continuous IV infusions can be used to give medication or fluids.

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The disadvantages of injections include the possibility of pain or discomfort for the patient, as well as the need for skilled personnel to provide injections utilizing aseptic practices.

FAQs Related To Why do drugs come in different forms?

What are the different forms of drugs?

Central nervous system (CNS) depressants, dissociative anesthetics, CNS stimulants, hallucinogens, cannabis, narcotic analgesics, and, inhalants.

Do medicines come in different forms?

Most drugs are available in a number of forms or formats.

Why do drugs come in different strengths?

Provide clinicians the flexibility they need to fulfill the needs of various patients.

Why are there so many different names for each drug?

A specific medicine will only have one generic name. A brand or trade name. These are the names given to drugs by the corporations that manufacture them. Individual medications may have multiple trade names.

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Why drugs are not given in pure form?

To guard against oxidation, hydrolysis, and reduction of the medicinal material.

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