Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

Pharmacology may be described as the study of the properties of drugs and how they interact with/affect the body. Within this broad discipline exist (somewhat artificial) subdisciplines, including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Pharmacokinetics relates to the fate of a drug in the body, particularly its ADME, i.e. its absorption into the body, its distribution within the body, its metabolism by the body, and its excretion from the body.

Table 4.2 The range of major tests undertaken on a potential new drug during preclinical trials. The emphasis at this stage of the drug development process is upon assessing safety. Satisfactory pharmacological, and particularly toxicological, results must be obtained before any regulatory authority will permit commencement of human trials

Pharmacokinetic profile Pharmacodynamic profile Bioequivalence and bioavailability Acute toxicity Chronic toxicity

Reproductive toxicity and teratogenicity




Local tolerance

The results of such studies not only help to identify any toxic effects, but also point to the most appropriate method of drug administration, as well as the most likely effective dosage regime to employ. Generally, ADME studies are undertaken in two species, usually rats and dogs, and studies are repeated at various different dosage levels. All studies are undertaken in both males and females.

If initial clinical trials reveal differences in human versus animal model pharmacokinetic profiles, additional pharmacokinetic studies may be necessary using primates.

Pharmacodynamic studies deal more specifically with how the drug brings about its characteristic effects. Emphasis in such studies is often placed upon how a drug interacts with a cell/organ type, the effects and side effects it induces, and observed dose-response curves.

Bioavailability and bioequivalence are also usually assessed in animals. Such studies are undertaken as part of pharmacokinetic and/or pharmacodynamic studies. Bioavailability relates to the proportion of a drug that actually reaches its site of action after administration. As most biophar-maceuticals are delivered parenterally (e.g. by injection), their bioavailability is virtually 100 per cent. On the other hand, administration of biopharmaceuticals by mouth would, in most instances, yield a bioavailability at or near 0 per cent. Bioavailability studies would be rendered more complex if, for example, a therapeutic peptide was being administered intranasally.

Bioequivalence studies come into play if any change in product production/delivery systems was being contemplated. These studies would seek to identify whether such modifications still yield a product equivalent to the original one in terms of safety and efficacy. Modifications could include an altered formulation or method of administration, dosage regimes, etc.

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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