What are pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics?

Time course of drug plasma concentrations over 96 hours, following oral administrations every 24 hours. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Drug formulation involves balancing the body’s ability to use and then eliminate the drug candidate. The field of pharmacology is dedicated to this balancing act, studying how a drug candidate influences biological systems and the body’s reaction to that compound. This task involves the study of pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD).

In pharmacokinetics, the study of the movement of compounds within the body involves absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) testing. ADME testing applies to pharmaceutical compounds, including food additives, cosmetics and pesticides.

In pharma, the first part of the ADME process, “absorption,” involves studying how a drug candidate travels from its administration site into the bloodstream. “Distribution” follow…

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