Absorption is the transmission of medications from the location of administration (gastrointestinal [GI] tract, muscle, skin, mucous membranes, or subcutaneous tissue) to the bloodstream. The most common routes of administration are enteral (through the GI tract) and parenteral (by injection). Each of these routes has a unique pattern of absorption.
● The rate of medication absorption determines how soon the medication will take effect.
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● The amount of medication the body absorbs determines the intensity of its effects.
● The route of administration affects the rate and amount of absorption.
BARRIERS TO ABSORPTION: Medications must pass through the layer of epithelial cells that line the GI tract.
ABSORPTION PATTERN: Varies greatly due to ● Stability and solubility of the medication ● GI pH and emptying time ● Presence of food in the stomach or intestines ● Other concurrent medications ● Forms of medications (enteric-coated pills, liquids)
BARRIERS TO ABSORPTION: Swallowing before dissolution allows gastric pH to inactivate the medication.
ABSORPTION PATTERN: Quick absorption systemically through highly vascular mucous membranes
Other mucous membranes (rectal, vaginal)
BARRIERS TO ABSORPTION: Presence of stool in the rectum or infectious material in the vagina limits tissue contact.
ABSORPTION PATTERN: Easy absorption with both local and systemic effects