Primarily for Local Effects

              Topical administration — to mucous membranes or skin

              lntra-articular — within the cavity of a joint

              Intracardiac — into a chamber of the heart

              Intradermal or intracutaneous — into the dermal layer of the skin

              lntrathecal — into the spinal fluid

              Inhalation — into the respiratory tract


         Primarily for Systemic Effects

              By the gastrointestinal tract:

                   Buccal or transmucosal — in the cheek

                   Oral — by mouth

                   Sublingual — under the tongue

                   Rectal — in the rectum


              By injection:

                   Intramuscular — into a skeletal muscle

                   lntraosseous — into the bone marrow

                   Intratracheal - into the trachea

                   Intravenous — into a vein

                   Subcutaneous — into the subcutaneous tissue


Route of Administration dictates dosage form:

Enteral (via gastrointestinal tract)

            Dosage Forms: tablet, capsule, Suppository, Elixir, Suspension


Parenteral (commonly refers to injections)

          Intravenous (IV) – delivered directly into circulation, bolus or steady infusion

Intramuscular (IM) – absorbed into systemic circulation, more gradual than IV, faster than oral (with possible exception of sublinqual)

Subcutaneous – under the skin

Dosage Forms: Solution, suspension, depot


Inhalation – Systemic (gases, insulin now available in inhaler) or local effect (bronchodilator) aimed at target organ (lung), helps reduce, minimize side effects.

            Dosage Forms used to deliver medications to the lungs (inhalation/topical)

                           Aerosols from liquid solution

                                    SVN, MDI, Ultrasonic nebulizer, Atomizer, Large volume Neb.

                           Aerosols from dry powder



                           Gas -vaporizer


Transdermal - absorbed into systemic circulation, provides long-term continuous delivery, steady state

            Dosage Forms: Patch, paste.


Topical – Local effect at site applied – minimize systemic absorption

             EX. Corticosteroid cream, eye drops, nasal decongestant sprays

            Dosage Forms: Powder, lotion, ointment, solution