Why are Some Medications Given IV?Specialty Infusion Blog April 9, 2021
A lot of patients ask, “Why are some medications given IV or injected?” Here we explain.
The Background on the Medications
First, let’s start with the background about the medications. According to the FDA, “biologics” include a wide range of products like vaccines, allergenics, recombinant therapeutic proteins, and more. Often, they are composed of sugars, proteins, nucleic acids, or a combination of these substances.
How Oral Medications Work
Typically, medications are taken orally. This route – which refers to the method of taking medicine – involves a pill, capsule, or liquid form of the medicine. Then, the medication is broken down in either the stomach or intestines, similar to how food is broken down, and absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. After, the medicine passes through the liver before entering the bloodstream. Finally, it circulates to the site where it’s needed.
Through this process, the concentration of the drug is reduced because a fraction of the drug is lost when absorbed through the GI tract and metabolized in the liver. This is call first pass metabolism and is associated with taking medication orally.
Alternatively, medications given IV are what we call 100% bioavailable, because no drug was lost through any type of metabolism. The drug can get to the site where it’s needed directly through the bloodstream completely bypassing the GI tract.
How This Affects Your Treatment
So, how does this relate to why are some medications given intravenously? Not only are IV medications 100% bioavailable, it also needs to be given IV to bypass the GI tract as these medications are delicate molecules. If they are taken orally, our stomach acid would break them down before they ever got to the site they are needed.
Why Specialty Infusion Centers
At Specialty Infusion Centers, we offer many infusion options for your treatment needs. Our flexible scheduling means we’re open seven days a week and provide evening hours. And, we make sure to provide a world-class experience in state-of-the-art suites. During your treatment, we provide free snacks, drinks, Netflix, WiFi, and other amenities to offer you a serene environment.
Finally, our highly skilled clinical team is trained to expertly administer treatment and handle any type of infusion or injection reaction that may arise. We also stay in constant contact with your healthcare team, updating your provider after each infusion and carrying out specific requests, such as lab work. So, come to Specialty Infusion Centers for all of your medication infusion needs.