Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 161–169 | Cite as

Obesity-related physiological changes and their pharmacokinetic consequences

  • Sung-Joon Cho
  • In-Soo Yoon
  • Dae-Duk KimEmail author


The prevalence of obesity has soared in recent decades, and now is considered as a worldwide problem, with significant health and medical implications. Obesity is often linked to several co-morbidities including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers, and a number of drugs are available for the treatment of these diseases. Moreover, obesity can affect various physiological factors including plasma proteins, drug metabolizing enzymes, drug transporters, and blood flow, thereby altering drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME). Therefore, information regarding obesity-related physiological changes and their pharmacokinetic consequences is crucial for understanding pharmacokinetics and optimizing drug therapy in obese population. Herein, this article reviews the effects of obesity on physiological factors determining drug ADME and their pharmacokinetic consequences. In addition, a brief summary on animal models of obesity is presented.


Obesity Pharmacokinetics Animal models 



Total body clearance


Hepatic clearance


Renal clearance


Volume of distribution


Time to reach a peak plasma concentration


Extent of absolute oral bioavailability


Free fraction of a drug in plasma


Hepatic extraction ratio


Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis


Non-alcoholic fatty liver hepatitis


NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2009-0083533 and 2011-0016040).


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmlaceutical Sciences, Seoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.College of Pharmacy and Natural Medicine Research Institute, Mokpo National UniversityJeonnamRepublic of Korea

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