Oral administration (per os) is a route of administration where a substance is taken through the mouth. Many medications are taken orally because they are intended to have a systemic effect, reaching different parts of the body via the bloodstream, for example.
Per os (//; P.O.) is an adverbial phrase meaning literally from Latin "by mouth" or "by way of the mouth." The expression is used in medicine to describe a treatment that is taken orally. The abbreviated P.O. is often used on medical prescriptions. P.O. is also occasionally (and grammatically incorrectly; os is a neuter noun of the 3rd declension and thus the accusative is the same as the nominative) rendered per orem, which is sometimes corrupted to per oram.
Oral administration is a part of enteral administration, which also includes
- buccal (dissolved inside the cheek)
- sublabial (dissolved under the lip) and
- sublingual administration (dissolved under the tongue).
Enteral medications come in various forms, including:
- tablets to swallow, chew or dissolve in water or under the tongue
- capsules and chewable capsules (with a coating that dissolves in the stomach or bowel to release the medication there)
- time-release or sustained-release tablets and capsules (which release the medication gradually)
- powders or granules
- liquid medications or syrups.
Concomitant ingestion of water facilitates in swallowing tablets and capsules. If the substance has disagreeable taste, addition of a flavor may facilitate ingestion. Substances that are harmful to the teeth are preferably given through a straw.
Dating and time-stamping of pharmaceutical ingestion can be automatically documented by concomitantly administrating an ingestible sensor, whose consumption can be detected by an externally worn adhesive monitor.
- Nil per os
- List of Latin phrases
- Medical prescription
- List of abbreviations used in medical prescriptions
- Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. "Oral medications". Informed Health Online. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- TheFreeDictionary > oral administration of medication Citing: Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. 2009
- Dicarlo, L. A. (2012). "Role for direct electronic verification of pharmaceutical ingestion in pharmaceutical development". Contemporary Clinical Trials 33 (4): 593–600. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2012.03.008. PMID 22487008.