All disease begins in the gut: Influence of gastrointestinal disorders and surgery on oral drug performance

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Abstract

The term “disease” conjures a plethora of graphic imagery for many, and the use of drugs to combat symptoms and treat underlying pathology is at the core of modern medicine. However, the effects of the various gastrointestinal diseases, infections, co-morbidities and the impact of gastrointestinal surgery on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic behaviour of drugs have been largely overlooked. The better elucidation of disease pathology and the role of underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms have increased our knowledge as far as diagnoses and prognoses are concerned. In addition, the recent advances in our understanding of the intestinal microbiome have linked the composition and function of gut microbiota to disease predisposition and development. This knowledge, however, applies less so in the context of drug absorption and distribution for orally administered dosage forms. Here, we revisit and re-evaluate the influence of a portfolio of gastrointestinal diseases and surgical effects on the functionality of the gastrointestinal tract, their implications for drug delivery and attempt to uncover significant links for clinical practice.

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