Author: Charles Frank

Drug Metabolism Drugs

what is drug metabolites

An inactive or weakly active substance that has an active metabolite is called a prodrug, especially if designed to deliver the active moiety more effectively. The liver’s main metabolizing agent is a specific group of cytochrome P-450 enzymes. These enzymes have a limited capacity so when levels of a drug in the blood are high, the enzymes become overloaded. Many other substances like food and other drugs affect these cytochrome P-450 enzymes. When they are at decreased ability to break down a drug, that drug’s side effects are increased. Conversely if other substances increase the ability of the enzymes to break down a drug, that drug’s side effects are decreased.

In this case, if 500 mg is present in the body at time zero, after metabolism, 450 mg may be present at 1 hour and 400 mg at 2 hours (illustrating a maximal clearance of 50 mg/hour and no specific half-life). As drug concentration increases, metabolism shifts from first-order to zero-order kinetics. Alcohol can be detected in urine drug screens, but a breath test for alcohol detection remains the most preferred testing method. These tests measure the blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which refers to the amount of alcohol in the blood in relation to the amount of water in the blood.

For almost all drugs, the metabolism rate in any given pathway has an upper limit (capacity limitation). However, at therapeutic concentrations of most drugs, usually only a small fraction of the metabolizing enzyme’s sites are occupied, and the metabolism rate increases with drug concentration. In such cases, called first-order elimination (or kinetics), the metabolism rate of the drug is a constant fraction of the drug remaining in the body (ie, the drug has a specific half-life). Some metabolites stay in the body long after the parent drug has been expelled from the system. Therefore, there is a higher probability of getting a positive result by looking for the metabolites instead of the parent drug.

Safety Testing of Drug Metabolites

Instead of detecting a parent drug, many standard drug testing methods look for the presence of metabolites. This ensures greater true positive test rates by identifying and detecting the metabolite rather than the parent drug quickly expelled by the body. It is no wonder why most drug kits in the market don’t detect the drugs mentioned on the kit. However, that does not mean they are fraudulent since these drug testing kits are essentially designed to detect the presence of metabolites of the parent drug named on the kit.

  1. As people age, enzymatic activity decreases, so that older people, like newborns, cannot metabolize drugs as well as younger adults and children do (see Aging and Drugs Aging and Medications ).
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  3. About DrugConfirm Home Drug Test Cup Urine drug testing is one of the most popular methods of random drug testing for recent drug use, as these tests …
  4. They are then reabsorbed by the kidneys in the form of urine or passed with feces.

Read on to know more about drugs and their metabolites, and the different drug tests for detecting them. This guidance provides recommendations to industry on when and how to identify and characterize drug metabolites whose nonclinical toxicity needs to be evaluated. Some antibiotics use primary metabolites as precursors, such as actinomycin, which is created from the primary metabolite tryptophan. Some sugars are metabolites, such as fructose or glucose, which are both present in the metabolic pathways. In biochemistry, a metabolite is an intermediate or end product of metabolism.[1]The term is usually used for small molecules.

Factors affecting drug metabolism

For instance , THC in Marijuana is metabolized into tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH), the primary metabolite of Marijuana. Similarly, the presence of 6-MAM (monoacetylmorphine) or morphine metabolites is indicative of Heroin (diacetylmorphine) or other opiates use. The presence of a drug metabolite is a reliable indicator of the parent drug intake in the body. The metabolism of pharmaceutical drugs is an important aspect of pharmacology and medicine. For example, the rate of metabolism determines the duration and intensity of a drug’s pharmacologic action. Drug metabolism also affects multidrug resistance in infectious diseases and in chemotherapy for cancer, and the actions of some drugs as substrates or inhibitors of enzymes involved in xenobiotic metabolism are a common reason for hazardous drug interactions.

what is drug metabolites

These pathways are also important in environmental science, with the xenobiotic metabolism of microorganisms determining whether a pollutant will be broken down during bioremediation, or persist in the environment. The enzymes of xenobiotic metabolism, particularly the glutathione S-transferases are also important in agriculture, since they may produce resistance to pesticides and herbicides. Drugs can be metabolized by oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration, conjugation, condensation, or isomerization; whatever the process, the goal is to make the drug easier to excrete. The enzymes involved in metabolism are present in many tissues but generally are more concentrated in the liver.

Some patients metabolize a drug so rapidly that therapeutically effective blood and tissue concentrations are not reached; in others, metabolism may be so slow that usual doses have toxic effects. Individual drug metabolism rates are influenced by genetic factors, coexisting disorders (particularly chronic liver disorders and advanced heart failure), and drug interactions (especially those involving induction or inhibition of metabolism). Metabolites may undergo further metabolism instead of being expelled from the body directly. The liver is the center for drug metabolism and most drugs must pass thru there. When drugs get into the liver, enzymes will convert pro drugs into active metabolites or convert active drugs into their inactive form. The enzymes cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) and catalase also break down ethanol to acetaldehyde.

Permeability barriers and detoxification

Most drug tests for cocaine are carried out to detect the presence of benzoylegonine along with cocaine. Many substances (such as drugs and foods) affect the cytochrome P-450 enzymes. If these substances decrease the ability of the enzymes to break down a drug, then that drug’s effects (including side effects) are increased. If the substances increase the ability of the enzymes to break down a drug, then that drug’s effects are decreased.

Metabolites have various functions, including fuel, structure, signaling, stimulatory and inhibitory effects on enzymes, catalytic activity of their own (usually as a cofactor to an enzyme), defense, and interactions with other organisms (e.g. pigments, odorants, and pheromones). About DrugConfirm Urine Drug Test Kit Our flagship instant urine drug test kit is the best selling DrugConfirm urine drug testing cup capable of detec… In silico modelling and simulation methods allow drug metabolism to be predicted in virtual patient populations prior to performing clinical studies in human subjects.[16] This can be used to identify individuals most at risk from adverse reaction. The metabolome forms a large network of metabolic reactions, where outputs from one enzymatic chemical reaction are inputs to other chemical reactions.

Drug Metabolites

Urine drug tests for nicotine in tobacco essentially look for the presence of cotinine for indicating the use of tobacco. All organisms use cell membranes as hydrophobic permeability barriers to control access to their internal environment. Polar compounds cannot diffuse across these cell membranes, and the uptake of useful molecules is mediated through transport proteins that specifically select substrates from the extracellular mixture. (See also Drugs and the Liver.) Some drugs, such as statins (used to treat high cholesterol), can increase the… The most important enzyme system of phase I metabolism is cytochrome P-450 (CYP450), a microsomal superfamily of isoenzymes that catalyzes the oxidation of many drugs. The electrons are supplied by NADPH–CYP450 reductase, a flavoprotein that transfers electrons from NADPH (the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) to CYP450.

The ability of the cytochrome P-450 enzymes to metabolize a drug in the body ensures reduced side effects that the use of a specific drug may bring about. However, the existence of a permeability barrier means that organisms were able to evolve detoxification systems that exploit the hydrophobicity common to membrane-permeable xenobiotics. These systems therefore solve the specificity problem by possessing such broad substrate specificities that they metabolise almost any non-polar compound.[1] Useful metabolites are excluded since they are polar, and in general contain one or more charged groups. Because metabolic enzyme systems are only partially developed at birth, newborns have difficulty metabolizing certain drugs.

Hepatic drug transporters are present throughout parenchymal liver cells and affect a drug’s liver disposition, metabolism, and elimination (for review, see [ 1, General references The liver is the principal site of drug metabolism (for review, see [ 1]). Although metabolism typically inactivates drugs, some drug metabolites are pharmacologically active—sometimes even… The 2 primary types of transporters are influx, which translocate molecules into the liver, and efflux, which mediate excretion of drugs into the blood or bile. Most drugs must pass through the liver, which is the primary site for drug metabolism. Once in the liver, enzymes convert prodrugs to active metabolites or convert active drugs to inactive forms. The liver’s primary mechanism for metabolizing drugs is via a specific group of cytochrome P-450 enzymes.