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Are Chemically Reactive Metabolites Responsible for Adverse Reactions to Drugs?

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Low molecular weight organic chemicals can be transformed by normal drug-metabolising systems into shortlived metabolites that are inherently reactive towards cellular macromolecules. There is direct evidence that the formation of such chemically reactive metabolites may lead to mutagenesis, carcinogenicity, apoptosis and necrosis in both cell and animal models. A number of drugs associated with non-pharmacological drug toxicities in man have been shown to undergo bioactivation either in vivo or in vitro. We have therefore examined the evidence for the role of reactive metabolites in the three most common drug-induced toxicities: hepatotoxicity, skin reactions and blood dyscrasias.
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Keywords: blood dyscrasias; hepatotoxicity; reactive metabolites; skin reaction

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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