Common Forms of Medication

Capsules
Medication is enclosed in a cylindrical gelatin coating. Drugs are generally released from capsules faster than from tablets.
Tablets
Contain medication, binding substances, and disintegrating agents. Some also have added flavoring to make them taste better.
Powders
Ultra fine drug particles in a dry form. Depending on the specific medication, they are usually dissolved or mixed in liquids of food and taken immediately after being prepared.
Drops
Sterile solution or suspension is
administered by a dropper directly into the eye, the outer ear canal, or the nose.
Liquids
Liquid medications are available as solutions, a drug preparation that is already dissolved; syrups, which are mixed with sugar and water; suspensions, preparations of finely crushed drugs held in liquid; and elixirs, medications dissolved in alcohol and water.
Inhalants and Sprays
Medication is breathed or sprayed into the nose or mouth.
Some medications are formulated to escape the container in specific fixed doses, but others are
allowed to escape the inhaler in random, or non
fixed, doses.
Topical Skin Preparations
Available as ointments, which are spreadable, greasy preparations used for local application; creams which are not greasy and are used on the skin only; and lotions, which are solutions or suspensions used on the skin and are not as sticky as creams and ointments.
Suppositories
Large, bullet shaped
tablets administered either rectally or vaginally; they are designed to melt at body temperature.
Injectable Solutions Sterile solutions or
suspensions supplied in ampules or bottles.

 

Perry, A, G, Potter, P, A, Ross-Kerr, J, C and Wood, M, J. 2006. Canadian fundamentals of nursing. 3rded. Toronto: Elselvier

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