The role of transporters in the pharmacokinetics of orally administered drugs

Pharm Res. 2009 Sep;26(9):2039-54. doi: 10.1007/s11095-009-9924-0. Epub 2009 Jun 30.


Drug transporters are recognized as key players in the processes of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. The localization of uptake and efflux transporters in organs responsible for drug biotransformation and excretion gives transporter proteins a unique gatekeeper function in controlling drug access to metabolizing enzymes and excretory pathways. This review seeks to discuss the influence intestinal and hepatic drug transporters have on pharmacokinetic parameters, including bioavailability, exposure, clearance, volume of distribution, and half-life, for orally dosed drugs. This review also describes in detail the Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System (BDDCS) and explains how many of the effects drug transporters exert on oral drug pharmacokinetic parameters can be predicted by this classification scheme.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Biotransformation
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Pharmacokinetics*


  • Carrier Proteins