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A prodrug is a chemical compound that, after administration, is metabolized (i.e. converted within the body) into a pharmacologically active substance.[1] Inactive prodrugs are pharmacologically inactive compounds that are metabolized into an active form within the body. Instead of administering a drug directly, a corresponding prodrug might be used instead to improve how a medicine is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted (ADME).

Prodrugs are often designed to improve bioavailability when a drug itself is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. A prodrug may be used to improve how selectively the drug interacts with cells or processes that are not its intended target. This reduces adverse or unintended effects of a drug.

Prodrugs may be subject to a rate-limiting step in the conversion from inactive to active substance: in which case, only the duration, and not the intensity of the effect increases. Additionally, they may display other differences relating to pharmacokinetic factors (i.e. how a substance is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted) compared its nonprodrug form.[citation needed]

Examples of recreational psychoactive substances that act as prodrugs include GBL (prodrug for GHB), psilocybin (prodrug for psilocin), ALD-52 (prodrug for LSD).

Contents

Examples

Depressants

Hallucinogens

Cannabinoids

Deliriants

Dissociatives

Psychedelics

Nootropics

Stimulants

Miscellaneous

External links

References

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