Drug Exsorption from Blood into the Gastrointestinal Tract

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Abstract

Drugs are exsorbed from the blood across the gastrointestinal membranes by passive or active processes. In the case of a passive transport mechanism, the exsorption of drugs depends on the concentration gradients between the serosal and mucosal sides. The extent of secretion (exsorption) is determined by numerous factors such as extent of binding to serum proteins, distribution volume, lipophilicity, pKa and molecular size of drugs, and the blood flow rate in the gut. Specific transport systems such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp), organic cation and organic anion transporters are found to be involved in active intestinal secretion of drugs. Intestinal secretory transport systems reduce the extent of drug absorption sometimes resulting in low oral bioavailability. It is, therefore, important to know whether poor drug absorption is due to the involvement of specialized secretory transport systems. Modulation of intestinal secretory transport can be a means to enhance absorption of drugs with low oral bioavailability if exsorption of drugs is based on active secretion pathways that are open for control from the “outside.”

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