Key factors undergoing maturational changes accounting for differences in drug metabolism and disposition in the pediatric population compared with adults are reviewed. Gastric and duodenal pH, gastric emptying time, intestinal transit time, bacterial colonization and probably P-glycoprotein are important factors for drug absorption, whereas key factors explaining differences in drug distribution between the pediatric population and adults are membrane permeability, plasma protein concentration and plasma protein characteristics, endogenous substances in plasma, total body and extracellular water, fat content, regional blood flow and probably P-glycoprotein, mainly that present in the gut, liver and brain. As far as drug metabolism is concerned, important differences have been found in the pediatric population compared with adults both for phase I enzymes [oxidative (e.g. cytochrome CYP3A7 vs. CYP3A4 and CYP1A2), reductive and hydrolytic enzymes] and phase II enzymes (e.g. N-methyltransferases and glucuronosyltransferases). Finally, key factors undergoing maturational changes accounting for differences in renal excretion in the pediatric population compared with adults are glomerular filtration and tubular secretion. It would be important to generate information on the developmental aspects of renal P-glycoprotein and of other renal transporters as done and still being done with the different isozymes involved in drug metabolism.