The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 171–188 | Cite as

Factors affecting gastrointestinal absorption of drugs

  • Ruth R. Levine


Absorption from the intestine is dependent on: (1) the physiochemical state of the substance, (2) the nonabsorptive physiologic functions and state of the intestine, (3) the metabolic activity and functions of the absorbing cell, and (4) the structure of the absorbing surface. Certain changes within each of the four categories will produce uniform or predictable changes in drug absorption which may be applied generally. Other alterations produce highly predictable effects on absorption of certain classes of drugs, while still other alterations, particularly those in metabolic activity, produce changes which are specific for a single agent or group of structurally related agents. Unintentional alterations in either the rate or amount of drug absorption can lead to ineffective oral therapy on the one hand, or toxic reactions on the other.


Public Health Drug Absorption Metabolic Activity Physiologic Function Single Agent 
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© Hoeber Medical Division • Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth R. Levine
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental TherapeuticsBoston University Medical CenterBoston

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