A Primer on Pharmacokinetics

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Dr. Ashkan Khabazian functions as the lead clinical pharmacist in San Diego County’s largest Emergency and Trauma Center at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. Dr. Ashkan Khabazian maintains in-depth knowledge of many key topics within clinical pharmacy, including pharmacogenomics and pharmacokinetics.

The branch of medical science concerned with the movement of drugs through the body, pharmacokinetics is useful in determining the onset, intensity, and duration of the effects of a drug. To understand such movement, pharmacokinetics takes a variety of factors, including age, gender, genetic makeup, and renal function into account.

Pharmacokinetics researchers often use a scheme known as LADME, which refers to five stages of drug processes in the body: liberation, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Liberation and absorption are known as “input” processes, meaning that they are involved in the transfer of the drug to the body. Distribution, metabolism, and excretion are known as “output” processes, as they deal primarily with removal from the body. It is important to note that the LADME processes do not necessarily occur in separate phases; distribution and metabolism almost always occur to some degree while the drug is still being liberated and absorbed.


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