Routes of Administration, Absorption, Elimination of Poison


Routes of Administration of Poison :

route of administration in pharmacology and toxicology is the path by which a drug, fluid, poison, or other substance is taken into the body

1. Enteral route e.g. by mouth or by rectum
2. Parenteral route (this indicates the bite of venomous creatures)
   a. Intra-venous
   b. Intra -muscular
   c. Intra-arterial 
   d. Intra -peritoneal
   e. Sub-cutaneous etc.
3. Inhalation
4. Through natural orifices
5. Sublingual route
6. External application

Accumulation/Absorption of Poison :

Poisons get absorbed in various systems of the body and remain accumulated there for prolonged duration. Some are accumulated in their original form while others undergo chemical or biochemical changes before accumulation
Liver and Kidneys are the main organs for accumulation of poisons. Some poisons are also accumulated in the skin, fat etc.

Channels for Elimination/Excretion of Poison :

When poison is administered in the body, the body itself tries to eliminate it through following routes -
1. Through Vomiting
2. Through Purgation
3. Through Urination
4. Through Salivation
5. Through sweat etc.
Some poisons are eliminated in their original form and some undergo chemical or biochemical changes before getting eliminated.

Methods of Administration of Poison :

Following are the routes or methods of administering poison in the body of an individual -
1. Inhalation
2. Intra-venous injection
3. Intra-muscular injection
4. Sub-cutaneous injection
5. Oral (ingestion) route
6. Contact through skin and cuts
7. Other anatomical routes (eg. rectum,vagina,urethra etc.)

Actions of Poison :

The Actions of Poison is categorized into following four types -
1. Local action
2. Remote action
3. Local and remote action  
4. General action

Local Action of Poison 

On contact with the skin surface poison presents with certain local symptoms; these include
  • Edema,
  • Burning sensation,
  • Ulceration,
  • Discolouration etc.

E.g. smoke from burning marking nut causes edema at the site of contact, sulphuric acid burns the site, atropine causes dilatation of the pupils etc.

Remote Action of Poison  

Ingested poison presents with  remote action within the body; this is of two kinds -
1.Specific and
2. Non-specific
  • Specific remote action - Certain poisons have effect on specific organs or systems of the body. E.g. aconite, digitalis affect the heart; opium and its alkaloids effect the nervous system; Strychinine affects the spinal cord etc.

  • Non-specific remote action - Certain poisons affect remote organs of the body; E.g. corrosive poison. These poisons result in shock etc.

Local and Remote Action of Poison

Certain poisons have both local and remote actions. E.g. carbolic acid, oxalic acid, Phosphorous etc.

General action of poison

Certain poison after being absorbed within the body tissues, simultaneously affect numerous systems of the body. E.g. mercury, arsenic, DDT etc.


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