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Pharmacokinetics: How food affects the absorption of drugs

Pharmacokinetics: How food affects the absorption of drugs

Absorption is the movement of a drug to the bloodstream after administration. A drug can be administered by a variety of routes (eg oral, rectal, sublingual, intramuscular, subcutaneous, inhalation). When taken orally, a drug will cross membranes of the epithelial cells along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. To do this, it must be able to withstand the low gastric pH and numerous GI secretions. Most absorption occurs in the small intestine, which has a large surface area for drug absorption and more permeable membranes than in the stomach.(1)

How is drug absorption affected by food?

The administration of a drug with food can have a significant effect on both the rate and extent of drug absorption and therefore on its therapeutic effect. Food can cause increased

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