Pharmacokinetics: Unfolding of a Concept

  • Aldo Rescigno
  • Bianca Maria Bocchialini
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 221)


The word “Pharmacokinetics”, coined from the Greek words φαρμακν, drug, and κινητικος, moving, was used for the first time in 1953 by F. H. Dost, a German pediatrician, in his book “Der Blutspiegel” [Dost, 1953], but the concept had been around for a long time before that. The object of Pharmacokinetics is the study of absorption, distribution, and elimination of drugs; but, since the existence of Pharmacology, it has been known that drugs are absorbed, distributed, and elimi­nated from the organism, and that the rates of absorption, distribution, and elimina­tion are fundamental in determining the effects on the organism they are administered to. Pharmacokinetics as such can be therefore considered a new discipline only since more sophisticated methods have been introduced to study the kinetic properties of drugs. These quantitative methods have been offered by Analytical Chemistry, by Physical Chemistry, and by Applied Mathematics.


Exponential Function Transfer Time Turnover Time Tracer Experiment Invariant Quantity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aldo Rescigno
    • 1
  • Bianca Maria Bocchialini
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PharmacyUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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