Why do hospitals prefer injecting medications than offering pills?


Some background : I was in the hospital recently for a couple of days and was able to talk and walk.. however, the doctors prescribed injections and IV canulisation over asking me to pop antibiotics and anti gastric medication. Is there a specific reason for hospitals to prefer it or is it just a matter of convenience?

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The first two things that pop in my head are that IV starts working much faster and the first pass effect which degrades approximately 70% of any medication orally.

So to be clear there is evidence that IV antibiotics tend to be overused. Even in cases where an initial IV dose is warranted switching over to oral can potentially be as effective. And while IV cannulation is pretty darn safe it still poses a slight chance for some complications.

What IV delivery does is give you an initial large dose that is rapidly spread throughout your bloodstream, so it begins to act faster. It should definitely be used at least initially where there is a potential for deep seated and/or severe infections. Oral doses are absorbed pretty quickly, but it can still be a couple hours to hit peak concentration vs IV which is basically instant. IV hits a higher concentration peak as well for the same amount of drug your body has to process, which is why you aren’t just doubling up on the oral dosage to hit the same peak concentration as the IV.

The preference for using IV in general then is mostly just thinking, if it’s better for the big stuff, it’s probably better for the small stuff and doing otherwise feels like giving sub par treatment. The cost and overhead associated with going IV just doesn’t enter the equation.

On a cool day, what’s more refreshing? A pool filled with water or a pool full of water balloons

I think an added point not mentioned is that if you’re sick enough to go to the hospital, they have to worry about you throwing up. Sure they can interrogate you about how nauseous you are and trust you that you know your own reactions to antibiotics ect. But you can’t throw it up if they give it to you in an IV. It gets to you fast, effectively, and without worrying about throwing it up and missing a dose. If your infection is bad enough to go to the hospital these are three things that really need to happen.

When I had an infection I went to the hospital for they gave me IV, I felt better, and then they sent me home with oral. They said I couldn’t go home on the oral antibiotics until they watched me eat, drink, and hold it down for 4 hours.

There are a number of medications that just have to be given IV. Like there’s not a stable way to get the proper dose into a pill that would survive your stomach to then be absorbed. Vancomycin comes to mind, as does toradol. Those are given by injection either intramuscular or IV because they must be.