Routes For Steroid Administration

Safety and the form of preparation are major factors that dictate how steroids taken. Steroid administration takes different paths, with each route having its own merits and demerits. The various main routes via which steroids are administered include orally, intramuscular, and via the skin through injections, topical applications such as patches and gels, as well as implantation of pellets under the skin.


Most therapeutic steroids are prescribed to be administered through this route. The common forms of oral steroids include tablets, soluble tablets, and liquid solutions. Oral steroids come in different brand names, such as prednisolone, hydrocortisone, betamethasone, and dexamethasone. Prednisolone is the most commonly prescribed oral steroid and is taken in the management of several diseases. Despite the medical use of oral steroids, persons who abuse steroids take some of the tablets in doses of up to 100 times the recommended doses in an effort to achieve certain desirable goals. When taken orally, steroids are absorbed through the wall of the digestive tract and taken up in blood to various target organs. Doses taken orally take time to be available to the body since they have to go through the process of absorption.

Intramuscular Route

Injection of steroids via muscles is a favorite form of steroid intake among those who abuse these compounds. It is a quick method of delivering the steroid to the body, and results in higher levels of availability to the body since no wastage is encountered like in oral intake. It is important that safety procedures are observed while injecting the drug into the muscle. Aseptic conditions must prevail, and sharing of needles and syringes should be avoided to minimize risks of contracting diseases such as hepatitis or the HIV virus.

Steroid Administration via the Skin

The most common method employed is the subcutaneous injection of the drug into the skin using a needle and syringe. Just like in intramuscular injections, the method carries certain health risks and caution should therefore be exercised. Pellets containing steroids have also been implanted under the skin to provide a continuous slow release of the steroid to the body for a period of time. There are topical steroid gels that are applied on the skin and the body absorbs the active compound.


The main methods of how are steroids taken are oral, intramuscular injections, and through the skin. The route chosen to administer the drug must guarantee zero or minimal adverse side effects to the user.