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Drug Elimination

Drugs are removed from the body by various elimination processes. Drug elimination refers to the irreversible removal of drug from the body by all routes of elimination. The declining plasma drug concentration observed after systemic drug absorption shows that the drug is being eliminated from the body but does not necessarily differentiate between distribution and elimination, and does not indicate which elimination processes are involved.

Drug elimination is usually divided into two major components: excretion and biotransformation. Drug excretion is the removal of the intact drug. Nonvolatile and polar drugs are excreted mainly by renal excretion, a process in which the drug passes through the kidney to the bladder and ultimately into the urine. Other pathways for drug excretion may include the excretion of drug into bile, sweat, saliva, milk (via lactation), or other body fluids. Volatile drugs, such as gaseous anesthetics, alcohol, or drugs with high volatility, are excreted via the lungs into expired air.

 

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