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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 area blood flow 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 but there also exists a tighter-than normal web of epithelial cells in the CNS blood vessels. 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.