Absorption of pentazocine following oral administration is rapid. The onset of action occurs within approximately 15 minutes, and the half-life is 2 to 3 hours. Pentazocine is extensively metabolized in the liver and thus has a high first-pass effect following oral administration; its half-life differs considerably from patient to patient. Oxidation of the methyl groups followed by conjugation to glucuronides in the liver terminates the effects of pentazocine. Excretion occurs through the kidney.

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