Metabolism and Excretion of Xenobiotics


The module describes the disposition of foreign compounds within the body of living organisms. It covers the methods used to study xenobiotic metabolism; their absorption and distribution and excretion, and includes the application of molecular biology techniques to drug metabolism and pharmacogentics. The major metabolic pathways are described including phase I and phase II reactions. The effect of species, age, sex and nutrition on these reactions is included. Metabolism and distribution are discussed as a basis for the toxicity of a range of xenobiotics.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Be aware of the methods used in studying the disposition of foreign compounds;
  • Be familiar with the molecular biology of the multiple forms of xenobiotic metabolising systems and the importance of polymorphisms;
  • Predict likely metabolic fates of xenobiotics;
  • Understand the importance of metabolism and distribution to the potential toxicity of a range of xenobiotics.


1.5hr written exam (75%)
Essay (10%)
Practical reports (15%)