Metabolism Biotransformation

The process of drug absorption and distribution is dynamic. That is, it is continually changing. Even as the drug is being distributed, the individual cells of the body begin to chemically change or alter the drug. This metabolic process of changing the drug is called metabolism or biotransformation. While many cells of the body will be involved in this process, the liver is the organ primarily responsible for this biotransformation. The liver changes drugs to make them more water-soluble so that they may be more easily excreted from the body. During the process of metabolism, a drug may be rendered inactive, converted from an inactive form to an active one, or be made more toxic. The liver may oxidize, reduce, hydrolyze, or conjugate (bind with a protein) the drug. The kidney will also play an active role in conjugating drugs.

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