Kinetics of drug metabolism inhibition: use of metabolite concentration-time profiles

J Pharmacokinet Biopharm. 1987 Oct;15(5):497-510. doi: 10.1007/BF01061759.


A simple model simulating the kinetics of drug metabolism inhibition interaction is investigated. The relative sensitivity of drug and metabolite concentration-time profiles as indices of inhibition is assessed. Under steady-state conditions where inhibitor concentrations are maintained constant, the determination of metabolite in addition to drug kinetics provides little additional information when inhibition is nonselective in nature. However metabolite profiles do offer increased sensitivity when parallel routes of metabolism exist and there is selectivity of inhibitory action. Non-steady-state conditions are also investigated as they often apply in inhibition studies; the inhibitor is often administered as a single dose or as a multiple dosing regimen rather than by a constant rate intravenous infusion. Under the former conditions, when inhibitor concentrations in the body fluctuate during the study, metabolite kinetics can be more useful than drug kinetics. The changes evident in the metabolite concentration-time profiles are substantial due to both the inhibition per se and the nonlinearity in the system arising from inhibitor elimination. It is concluded that metabolite kinetics provide a useful aid in the detection of drug metabolism inhibition interactions.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Interactions*
  • Half-Life
  • Kinetics
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Models, Biological
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations