Why do medicines come in different forms?

Medicinal forms - is given in different forms because of the necessity for convenience or for speed. It can be given by mouth (orally) in the form of tablets, capsules or draughts. It can be inhaled in the form of gases, fine aerosols or very rarely, exceedingly fine powder. Injections of medicine are given subcutaneously (beneath the skin), intramuscularly or intravenously. Sometimes solid implants in the form of tablets may be placed subcutaneously. Injections may also be given in the spine or brain. Medicines can be given through the rectum as solids (suppositories) or enemas, or through the vagina as pessaries or douches. Finally, there are solutions, powders, creams and ointments which are placed locally on the skin. Convenient medicines are those which can be taken or administered easily by the patient himself. Oral medicine and inhalations are convenient and a great deal of research is carried out to make these more palatable. Manufacturers prefer oral preparations because they can be attractively coloured and flavoured and made impressively mysterious in size and shape. They can also be code stamped or named for identification. Injections have to be sterile and kept in appropriate containers and are therefore relatively expensive.

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