Variation of Drug Kinetics in Pregnancy
Petr Pavek, Martina Ceckova and Frantisek Staud
Affiliation: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University in Prague, Heyrovskeho 1203, Hradec Kralove, 500 05 Czech Republic.
Keywords: Pharmacokinetics, metabolism, placenta, pregnancy, ADME, pharmacotherapy, fetus, physiological alternation
Significant changes in the physiological and biotransformation processes that govern pharmacokinetics occur during pregnancy. Consequently, the disposition of many medications is altered in gestation and the efficacy and toxicity of drugs used by pregnant women can be difficult to predict or can lead to serious side effects. Gastrointestinal absorption and bioavailability of drugs vary due to changes in gastric secretion and small intestine motility. Various pregnancy-related hemodynamic changes such as an increase in cardiac output, blood volume, the volume of distribution (Vd), renal perfusion and glomerular filtration may affect drug disposition and elimination, and can cause increase or decrease in the terminal elimination half-life of drugs. Changes in maternal drug biotransformation activity also contribute to alterations in pharmacokinetics of drugs taken in pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women may require different dosing regimens or their adjustment than both men and non-pregnant women. In addition, the prenatal pharmacotherapy is unique due to the presence of feto-placental unit. Considerations regarding transplacental pharmacokinetics and safety for the developing fetus are thus essential aspects of medication in pregnancy. The aim of this review is to summarize major physiological and biotransformation changes associated with pregnancy that affect pharmacokinetics in pregnant women. In addition, we point out the most important examples of altered kinetics of drugs administered in pregnancy with mechanistic explanation of the phenomena based on maternal adaptation in pregnancy.
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