Difference between Injection and Infusion : Pharmaceutical Guidelines

Difference between Injection and Infusion

Injections and infusions both are sterile products but they have great difference in their administration to the human body. These differences are discussed in this articles.
Both injection and infusion are medical terminologies. They are both ways of administering medicine to a patient and important in health and life-saving. The medicine is usually in liquid form. Many people are usually confused and do not know their differences.

There are various differences between injection and infusion. These include:
Injection in most case is known to be a 'shot' using a needle or a syringe. It usually takes a short period of time while an infusion takes quite a lot of time (more than fifteen minutes), probably for about thirty minutes or even longer. It is a slow method of medication to a patient.

An injection is administered within muscles (intramuscular), or intra-aerial, or beneath the skin (intradermal) or within the fat or the skin of the patient (subcutaneous). On the other hand, an infusion is administered a PICC line, intraosseous (IO), intravenous (IV), porta cath or any other device. Infusion, in this case, administer the medicine directly into the bloodstream.

An injection is usually administered continuously while infusion may be continuous or even in spurts. This is done using infusion pumps. An infusion can as well be time controlled.

Injecting a patient involves a syringe that is carefully held by hands. On the other hand, with an infusion, an IV bag hung up while a tubing and a needle are left in the vein of the patient. The fluid then drips from the bag into the tubing dropwise as set by the nurse or the doctor.

Unlike pushing in an injection process and application of pressure, infusion uses gravity force. The force is a necessity especially when the medication is required to move from the bag hanging on top, near the bed of the patient to the tube and needle in the veins. The infusion can as well be accomplished by means of pumping.
Related: Mechanism of Drug Release from Oral Dosage Forms

In most cases, an intravenous infusion would require a person to be rehydrated. This calls for intravenous drips of the saline. When the medication is administered, then it could be done through the same tubing that was used for the saline drip. This is not usually the case with medication administered through an injection.

Due to it that an infusion takes a lot of time, it may be two to three hours one would be required to have a rest on his or her provided bed in the hospital. This is to ensure that the patient is more comfortable and not experiencing any further pain. An injection can be done when one is standing or even sitting on a chair. It is a quick process and given if the condition is not serious especially in the case of a vaccination.
Related: Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion of Drug

Both cases, Injection, and an infusion are delivered for the benefit of any person. Both are important and whichever method is used, that is usually for the benefit of the patient. The doctor or the nurse is the one who gets to decide between an injection or an infusion which is the best in accordance with the condition of the patient. They are different processes with a common goal, administration of medicine.





Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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