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The interactions between a drug and the body are conveniently divided into two classes. The actions of the drug on the body are termed pharmacodynamic processes (Figure 1–1);. These properties determine the group in which the drug is classi-fied, and they play the major role in deciding whether that group is appropriate therapy for a particular symptom or disease. The actions of the body on the drug are called pharmacokinetic processes. Pharmacokinetic processes govern the absorption, distribution, and elimination of drugs and are of great practical importance in the choice and administration of a particular drug for a particular patient, eg, a patient with impaired renal function. The following paragraphs provide a brief introduction to pharmacodynamics and pharma-cokinetics.
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