Oral forms of medications are
liquids, capsules, tablets, suspensions, and elixirs. These are not administered to clients who are vomiting, who lack a gag reflex, or who are comatose.
Most oral medications should be administered on
an empty stomach to avoid alterations with absorption. However, medications irritating to the gastric mucosa should be given with food.
Oral medications may also be administered
sublingually or buccally if ordered in this manner.
Nurses should encourage their clients to
use child-resistant caps. Older persons or those with limited dexterity may request non–child-resistant caps.
Liquid medications may need to be
shaken before administration or may need refrigeration.
Transdermal medications are dispensed in
patch form and are absorbed through the skin. The patch should be secured to the skin. Patches should be rotated to different areas of the skin with each application. The area of the old patch should be cleansed before administration of a new patch.
additional client teaching on use of the equipment with the medication.
Suppositories may be administered
rectally or vaginally for local and systemic absorption. With rectal administration, lubricant is used for easier administration. An applicator is used for vaginal administration.
With parenteral administration of medications comes the additional concern of
needlestick injury to the nurse. Many manufacturers have responded with various safety devices to prevent these injuries.
Intradermal administrations are used for
observation of an inflammatory reaction to foreign proteins. The site of administration should be lightly pigmented, thinly keratinized, and hairless.
Subcutaneous administrations are
used for small doses of nonirritating medications. The site of administration must have adequate fat pad size. These sites should be rotated for each administration.
Intramuscular administrations have
systemic effects and have more rapid effect than subcutaneous administration.
Irritating medications, aqueous suspensions, and solutions in oil are administered
intramuscularly. The location of administration must have adequate muscle size and minimal nerve or blood vessels in the area.
Intravenous administrations have the most
rapid systemic effect. The site of administration may be any accessible peripheral vein. Clients may be consulted as to site preference when applicable.