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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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Other Factors Affecting Drug Absorption and Distribution

In addition to protein availability, other factors may affect drug absorption and distribution in the body as a whole or within specific sites of the body. The following table highlights some of these other factors.

Regional blood flowReduced blood flow to an organ can be seen in diabetics and enhanced blood flow can be seen in tumors. Reduced blood flow means reduced exposure to drug.
Lipid solubility of the drug
The more lipophilic a drug is, the more likely it will enter the central nervous system. The brain itself is a very lipid-rich organ and there also exists a tighter-than-normal web of epithelial cells in the blood vessels of the CNS. This leads to the so called blood-brain-barrier. Lipophilic drugs can cross cell membranes of this barrier more easily than polar drugs.
The integrity of the GI tractIn a diseased gut, an orally-administered drug may not be absorbed as expected.
AgeDrug kinetics and dispositions change throughout life. In general, metabolism of drugs is reduced in the elderly.
GeneticsMutations or deletions in drug metabolizing enzymes can greatly affect a drug's disposition.