Detoxication products are the major metabolites formed from most drug metabolism. There are two common patterns observed:
- A drug with potent pharmacological activity is converted to a major metabolite with markedly reduced or no pharmacological activity (e.g., Pentobarbital and Hydroxypentobarbital)
- A drug is converted to a metabolite with roughly equivalent or slightly lower pharmacological activity.
Detoxication differs from detoxification. Detoxification is the process of removing toxins from the body, while detoxication is the process of preventing toxic entities from entering the body in the first place. Detoxication occurs in the liver and kidneys, through biotransformation: a series of chemical alterations of a compound (e.g., a drug) occurring within the body, as by enzymatic activity. Often this occurs as conjugation with a polar compound making it less toxic and or easier to excrete. Example of detoxification are: Administration of chelators for heavy metal poisoning, hyperbaric oxygen treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning and treatment of ethylene glycol poisoning with ethanol.
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