Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics in drugs

Pharmacokinetics is currently defined as the study of the time course of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Clinical pharmacokinetics is the application of pharmacokinetic principles to the safe and effective therapeutic management of drugs in an individual patient. Primary goals of clinical pharmacokinetics include enhancing efficacy and decreasing toxicity of a patient’s drug therapy. The development of strong correlations between drug concentrations and their pharmacologic responses has enabled clinicians to apply pharmacokinetic principles to actual patient situations.

Pharmacodynamics refers to the relationship between drug concentration at the site of action and the resulting effect, including the time course and intensity of therapeutic and adverse effects. The effect of a drug present at the site of action is determined by that drug’s binding with a receptor. Receptors may be present on neurons in the central nervous system (i.e., opiate receptors) to depress pain sensation, on cardiac muscle to affect the intensity of contraction, or even within bacteria to disrupt maintenance of the bacterial cell wall.

  • Drug potency
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Volume of distribution
  • Plasma drug concentration versus time curves

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