Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Distribution in pharmacology is a branch of pharmacokinetics which describes the reversible transfer of drug from one location to another within the body. It is the movement of molecules of drugs from blood into general body (compartments) and peripheral tissues.

The distribution of a drug between tissues is dependent on permeability between tissues (between blood and tissues in particular), blood flow and perfusion rate of the tissue and the ability of the drug to bind plasma proteins and tissue. pH parturition plays a major role as well.

Once a drug enters into systemic circulation by absorption or direct administration, A drug has to be distributed into interstitial and intracellular fluids.

The lipid solubility, pH of compartment, extent of binding with plasma protein and tissue proteins, cardiac output, regional blood flow, capillary permeability are associated for distribution of the drug through tissues.The drug is easily distributed in highly perfused organs like liver, heart, kidney etc in large quantities & in small quantities it is distributed in low perfused organs like muscle, fat, peripheral organs etc. The drug can be moved from the plasma to the tissue until the equilibrium is established (for unbound drug present in plasma).

The volume of distribution (VD) of a drug is a property that quantifies the extent of distribution.

Further reading:
Comparative Pharmacokinetics: Principles, Techniques, and Applications by Jim E. Riviere

Pharmacokinetics : Principles and Applications by Mehdi Boroujerdi

Clinical Pharmacokinetics Handbook by Larry Bauer
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