Nutrition plays a vital role in having a healthier lifestyle. Nutrient shortfalls have health care consequences that could impact your overall being and hamper your daily activities. It is almost difficult for anyone to get all the nutrients they need from food alone. Dietary or nutritional supplements are one of the health care measures recommended for dietary improvements and filling any nutrient gaps. These dietary supplementations can take place through two main routes of administrations based on the location that is, through your oral route and your intravenous (IV) bags directly into your bloodstreams, known as oral therapy and Infusion therapy respectively. These two methods of administrating a medication largely impact the efficacy and effectiveness of your therapy.
Oral therapy and Infusion therapy also play their role in medical settings for treating common infections as prescribed antibiotics. Each of these therapies has its unique characteristics may it be used for dietary supplementation or medication. Selecting between oral therapy and Infusion therapy as the most appropriate route of administration depends mainly on several factors including the convenience, site, and severity of the infection. Inappropriate selection leads to an increase in health care costs. Each of these two routes of administrating a medication has associated advantages and disadvantages.
Oral therapy is the most frequently used route for drug administration and also is the first choice since it is convenient, safe, and economical. In this method, the drug is placed in the mouth and swallowed which is absorbed into the circulation from the gastrointestinal tract. The effect and results of oral therapy depend on the absorption of the dosage in the digestive system. There is a lot of work that your body does in this process of moving the oral dosage into the bloodstream.
Convivence and patient compliance:
Oral therapy is portable, safe, and easy to take and is preferred by patients. It is also convenient for repeated and prolonged use.
Patient independence and mobility:
This method of therapy is not usually administered in a hospital setting, it is based on self-administration based on doctor’s prescription.
It does not require any use of needle and syringe or sterile precautions. No pain is involved in drug delivery.
Variety of dosage forms available:
Oral therapy takes the solid dosage form including capsules, tablets, and other forms including solutions, suspensions, and emulsions. This offers many options to the patient.
Oral therapy is less expensive as is available in the market and eliminates any hidden cost including charges of health care professionals and equipment to administer.
The reduction in needle-related complications and health care costs is the main reason for the long adherence of patients to oral therapy.
The administrated oral therapeutic agents might interact with other non-prescription and prescription drugs as well as with food, nutritional supplements, and herbal remedies.
Drugs are absorbed slowly in oral therapy, in most cases irregular and incomplete. Stomach acid and enzymes might cause degradation resulting in unpredictable absorption.
Not suitable for emergencies:
In the case of emergencies, oral therapy is not possible because of its slow working. Also, is not appropriate for an unconscious patient, only those patients who can swallow.
Higher rate of error:
Especially in elderly patients, self-administrations and adherence become difficult.
The route of administration in Infusion therapy is directly within or into a vein or veins. It involves introducing the drug solution directly into the blood using a syringe through a vein. Infusion therapy is used in health care when the dose is to be delivered rapidly, and precisely and in a well-controlled manner. Similarly, when a patient is unable to take oral substances infusion therapy is used to administer drugs, fluids, nutrients, and other solutions. The most common IV sites are forearms and wrist and only aqueous solutions can be given.
Better Absorption of total dose:
As the drug directly enters into the systematic circulation in infusion therapy there is no delay associated with the absorption process thus, achieving a complete therapeutic effect faster than by any other route. Also, rapid increase in nutrient-rich cells.
For the same reason stated above, there are no alterations by any pre-systemic metabolism and the active ingredients usually reach the site of action and thus have 100% bioavailability.
On target and fast:
Infusion therapy is the most efficient option as the Drug reaches the stream of blood immediately having full access to the entire body allowing accurate dosing and hence, producing rapid action. Infusion therapy is also an effective option in emergencies and life-threatening situations.
It is possible to administer a very large volume of infusion.
Any irritant drug or a high concentration dosage form won’t irritate since they directly get diluted in the blood through veins which are relatively insensitive.
Associated risks are blood vessel damage, bleeding, fluid overload or overdose, infection, incompatibility if IV solutions and drugs are mixed, and allergic responses to the infused substance. Similarly, once the drug is infused its action can not be halted if a mistake occurs.
The greater cost of preparation, transportation, storage, and procedure of infusion therapy.
Demands staff resource:
Self-medication is no option for infusion therapy, it requires trained personnel and also administration equipment.
Your health care provider may prescribe medication or dietary supplementation. Now to decide a better route of administration different properties of each are considered. As discussed earlier the main difference between Oral therapy and Infusion therapy is in the way it is administered.
Oral therapy is the best choice for the patients considering the inexpensive and non-invasive option. Oral therapy is independent of any complications and is a substitute for time-consuming treatments. It allows self-administration and no aseptic conditions are associated.
Infusion therapy is best when the patient cannot swallow the drug or oral therapy is not functioning. it has the benefit of absorbing 100% of the medication and elevating your energy level. Infusion therapy is a flat-out more effective and efficient way to deliver medications quickly as compared to traditional oral supplementation. Similarly, Infusion therapy allows personalized dosage and can deliver a blend of medication or nutrition with all benefits in one sitting rather than depending on multiple oral therapies. However, infusion therapy is often an inconvenient option for most patients and practitioners.