Basic Pharmacokinetics

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Pharmacology in the Clinical Lab: Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Pharmacogenomics. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Basic Pharmacokinetics

In order to discuss TDM and PGx we need to introduce the concept of pharmacokinetics. Pharmacokinetics is the study of drug disposition in the body, including how and when drugs enter the circulation, how long they remain in the blood, and how they are ultimately eliminated from the body. TDM is the clinical assessment of a drug's pharmacokinetic properties. Physicians and pharmacists need to establish that a drug is present at a clinically-effective concentration, and ensure that its concentration does not reach a toxic level.
The next few pages will describe some of the factors that determine a drug's disposition in the body. These factors ultimately decide the need for therapeutic drug monitoring.