The biochemistry of drug metabolism--an introduction: part 7. Intra-individual factors affecting drug metabolism

Chem Biodivers. 2009 Oct;6(10):1477-660, table of contents. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.200900233.


This review on intra-individual factors affecting drug metabolism completes our series on the biochemistry of drug metabolism. The article presents the molecular mechanisms causing intra-individual differences in enzyme expression and activity. They include enzyme induction by transcriptional activation and enzyme inhibition on the protein level. The influencing factors are of physiological, pathological, or external origin. Tissue characteristics and developmental age strongly influence enzyme-expression patterns. Further influencing factors are pregnancy, disease, or biological rhythms. Xenobiotics, drugs, constituents of herbal remedies, food constituents, ethanol, and tobacco can all influence enzyme expression or activity and, hence, affect drug metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Interactions / genetics
  • Drug Interactions / physiology
  • Enzyme Induction / genetics
  • Enzyme Induction / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Xenobiotics / chemistry
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Xenobiotics