From your childhood in the elementary school you have been advised to avoid drugs and given too many anti drug lessons to remember. You are also aware of the reasons for it. But you may not know the scientific reasons for drug metabolism.

Drugs should not be metabolized because they are Xenobiotics which means foreign molecules. Inorder to make excretion from the body, drugs should have some structural changes and it is here drug metabolism comes in to picture. Drugs are metabolized in the liver by enzymes and are converted in to metabolites. These metabolites, attached to other materials are then thrown out of the body.

Drug Metabolism can be defined as the bodys reaction to the foreign substance that attacks it. However if the drug is to fight a disease or sickness it should remain in the body for a while. The problem of scientists with antibiotics is that the drug metabolism either acts too quickly or not quickly enough when trying to rid the system from drugs. Therefore it is a practical purpose to study drug metabolism today.

Where do the Drugs go?

The drugs are thrown out of the body after drug metabolism. They take different routes in drug excretion. Other means of drug excretion are through feces, saliva, sweat and tears. Drugs can go out through breast milk. So nursing women are forbidden from using drugs. The drugs, harmless to them, may seriously harm babies.

How Quick

The rate of drug metabolism changes from person to person. So the recommended dosage changes according to weight or age. The rate of drug metabolism is affected by environment, nutrition, genetics and age. There can also be a change in drug metabolism due to interaction between other drugs, foods and beverages. For instance, grape juice reduces the metabolic rate of certain drugs. Beer, wine, old cheese, dried fruits, smoked meats, milk, cream, and dairy are some other foods that affect the metabolism of drugs.