RLO: The Kidneys and Drug Excretion


Drug Elimination

The elimination of drugs from the body involves the processes of metabolism and excretion. Details of metabolic processes are explored in the tutorial entitled "The Liver and Drug Metabolism”.

This tutorial explains how drugs are excreted from the body. Excretion is the removal of waste substances from body fluids, and predominantly occurs via urine formed in the kidneys. Other routes of excretion from the body can include in bile, saliva, sweat, tears, faeces, milk and exhaled air.

Most drugs are metabolised first prior to being excreted. However, some drugs, such as aminoglycoside antibiotics are polar compounds and are excreted by the kidneys without being metabolised first.