How are medications “used up” in the body, and where do they go when they are?

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Why do we need to continue to take medications day after day? What actually happens in the process of them getting used up?

In: Biology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depends on the medication.

Some are completely absorbed/metabolized. Some are perceived as “hazardous waste” and are steadily filtered out by the liver and kidneys. Some react and break down into their components, which are then filtered out.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are metabolized (broken down or chemically altered) in the liver or other tissues or by circulating enzymes. This makes them mostly inactive and they are eliminated through waste (Poop, pee, exhaled, through skin etc.). Or They bind to the other things like proteins and get pooped or peed out.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The answer to this question is dependent on the specific medication and how it is put into the body.

Pills are broken down by the digestive system and absorbed into the blood from the digestive track. They are then circulated to the entire body where some chemical changes take place. They are eliminated in the urine and poop.

Injected meds are generally absorbed into the blood stream and from there the process is similar to pills but often faster.

Gases are usually absorbed by the lining of the lung. They enter the blood stream and elimination occurs in either the lungs or the same as pills.

The mechanism of utilization of a single medication might have several steps and take place in different locations within the body. ACE inhibitors are a blood pressure medication that is absorbed in the digestive track and once in the blood move to the lungs where they undergo conversion into another product which then acts in the kidney to prevent a specific chemical conversion and are eliminated afterwards.