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In practice of critical care or hospital care, it is now well accepted that the patients on intravenous therapy should be switched over to oral therapy as soon as stability of vital signs are achieved and the patient is alert enough to take drugs by oral route. Such treatment strategy has been shown to have tremendous positive impact on health and recovery of patients. Switching the patient on oral therapy has also shown to reduce the overall cost of treatment. (Source: Intravenous to oral antibiotic switch therapy, Burke et al, Vol 101/ No 4/April 1997/ Postgraduate medicine.)

While intravenous or intramuscular medications may have more bioavailability and have greater effects, some oral drugs produce serum levels compatible to
parenteral formulation. This pharmacokinetic profile of drugs serves a good option to convert the patients on i.v./i.m. drugs to oral use. This process of switching the patients form i.v./i.m to oral therapy is called “switch therapy, sequential therapy, transitional therapy, antibiotic streamlining or step down therapy.

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