• Question: Can you explain what drug delivery is?

    Asked by jbromham to Alex on 17 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Alex Lyness

      Alex Lyness answered on 17 Jun 2014:

      Hey jbromham,

      I can indeed.

      The majority of drugs worldwide are taken as tablets (70+%), however, sometimes drugs cannot be taken this way as 1) the digestive system breaks them down before they can work, 2) they can cause side-effects or 3) the stomach might not be a good place to deliver them in the first place.

      The way that a drug enters the body to achieve the required e ffect is known as the ‘route of administration’ or drug delivery route.

      There are three main types;

      Enteral (Think: Enter, as in enters via the mouth)
      Topical (Think: Placed on, as in placed on the skin or breathed in and on to the surface of the lungs)
      Parenteral (Think: Through, as in injected through the skin)

      For all the above methods there are many different devices that can be used to get drugs into the body. Do you think you can name any?