Everything You Need to Know About Parenteral Drug Administration

parenteral drug administration

Parenteral drug administration is the delivery of medications or other substances through routes other than the digestive tract. The medication goes directly through the body while bypassing the gastrointestinal system, allowing rapid absorption into the bloodstream.

This form of treatment is used when immediate therapeutic effects are necessary, the patient is unable to take oral medication, or the medication is not offered in an oral form. Read on for insights about parenteral administration and the process for manufacturing drugs that use the application method.

Enteral vs. Parenteral Drug Administration

Enteral and parenteral are two common routes for administering medications and treatments to patients.

Parenteral drug administration delivers nutrients directly into the body without the digestive system through injections or infusions. It is used when there is a need for immediate therapeutic effects or when oral administration is not feasible. This method requires specialized training and equipment to ensure safe administration. Risk of infection or other complications may occur if it is not performed correctly.

Another method of drug administration is enteral. It delivers medications or nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract by way of oral administration or a feeding tube. This means that the digestive system must be fully functioning in order to absorb the medications or nutrients. Since it is the natural route for nutrient absorption, it is generally considered safer than parenteral drug administration. However, the absorption may be influenced by factors like gastric emptying, gastrointestinal mobility, other drugs, and even food. Additionally, the patient must be able to accept oral drugs.

Overall, parenteral administration is used when there needs to be immediate relief or a bypass of the digestive system, while enteral administration is employed when the digestive tract is functioning and able to absorb nutrients and medications. Therefore, when choosing whether to manufacture enteral or parenteral drugs, it is essential to fully understand the needs of your targeted demographic of patients to make an informed decision.

The Benefits of Parenteral Drug Administration

One of the main benefits of parenteral drugs is the fact that they offer very precise dosages. This is because the drugs are administered directly to the site for treatment, which means their absorption rate is greater than if they were to pass through the metabolism first.

Other benefits of parenteral drugs for patients who need a variety of therapeutical treatments include:

  • Rapid action – Parenteral drug administration medications can be directed into the bloodstream, which results in a rapid delivery of the drug. They are absorbed quicker than medications with oral administration, resulting in immediate therapeutic effects that are extremely useful where quick relief is necessary.
  • Predictable absorption – Parenteral drug absorption tends to be more predictable than oral administration, which is important for medications with small therapeutic windows.
  • Reduced gastrointestinal irritation – Some drugs can cause irritation and damage to the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause a lot of discomfort to the patient. Parenteral administration doesn’t involve the digestive system which reduces these complications.
  • Avoidance of first-pass metabolism – Drugs administered orally must pass through the liver before they can reach the targeted spot. When the drug is metabolized, its effectiveness can be reduced because less of the drug travels into the systemic circulation. However, parenteral administration bypasses this metabolization which can result in a greater proportion of the drug meeting the intended site.

Another benefit of parenteral administration is the improved patient compliance. Patients who experience side effects of oral medications and opt for parenteral drug administration could experience less discomfort when going through treatment. This means reduced nausea, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing, which can result in better adherence to therapy plans.

Methods of Parenteral Administration

There are many ways to administer parenteral drugs. Some are more popular than others, but the method highly depends on the needs of the patient.

Some of the most common methods of parenteral drug administration include:

  • Intravenous – Delivered directly into the vein, which is the fastest and most direct route
  • Intramuscular – Injected into a muscle, which allows for absorption over a longer period of time when compared to an IV
  • Subcutaneous – Injected into the fatty tissue beneath the skin which is beneficial for medications that require slower and sustained absorption

However, the list does not stop here. Other administration methods include:

  • Intraosseous – Delivered directly into bone marrow, which is common for emergency situations where IV access is limited or difficult
  • Intradermal – Injected into the dermal layer of the skin, which is used for some allergy testing and certain vaccinations
  • Intracardiac – Directed toward the heart which is useful for cardiac resuscitation procedures
  • Intra-articular – Injected into a joint space which is commonly used to treat inflammatory joint conditions

While there are many avenues for parenteral administration, not all drugs can be delivered this way. While many of them can, there are certain exceptions for select medications, and some drugs have specific requirements or restrictions for parenteral drug administration. So, as a manufacturer, it is critical to develop clear instructions for delivery.

The Process of Manufacturing Parenteral Drugs

Since we manufacture pharmaceuticals, we wanted to touch upon the typical manufacturing process for parenteral drugs that ensures they are sterile and safe.

Here is a simple overview of the process:

    1. Develop the formulation using active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients, and other components that will achieve the desired therapeutic effect.

  • Create a sterile environment that is controlled. This typically involves the use of cleanrooms or isolators that are equipped with advanced air filtration or purification systems to ensure sterility.

  • Weigh and mix the API, excipients, and the other components to ensure an even distribution.

  • Sterilize the mixture to remove microorganisms. This step is crucial since the parenteral drugs are administered directly into the body. Sterilization can be done through filtration, autoclaving, or aseptic processing.

  • Fill the sterile drug formulation into appropriate containers like vials and pre-filled syringes. This should be done under aseptic conditions to prevent any contamination. Then, the containers are sealed in a way that maintains the sterility of the drug.

  • Label and package the formulation with information about the drug.

  • Test samples from each batch to check the potency, purity, sterility, endotoxin levels, and more.

  • Check the stability of the formulation to see the drug’s quality and efficacy over time.

  • Submit applicable drug information to the FDA to ensure that it is ready for parenteral administration in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and more.

After this process is concluded, it is time for the drug to be shipped off so that it can be used in parenteral administration for patients.

Oakwood Labs Is Your Destination for Manufacturing Parenteral Drugs

It is any manufacturer’s job to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure product safety and quality. We’re committed to doing so, and since our founding in 1997, Oakwood Labs has grown to become one of the prominent manufacturers of sustained-release parenteral products. We operate in an FDA-approved, aseptic facility, meaning we are ready to tackle your next manufacturing project.

Through our patented Chroniject and contract manufacturing services, we can help you treat more patients with the use of parenteral drug administration.

Contact Us Today for More Information

For more information on parenteral drug administration and its manufacturing processes, be sure to contact Oakwood Labs.

Mark Ilhan