While the mammalian eye is seldom considered an organ of drug metabolism, the capacity for biotransformation is present. Compared to the liver, the metabolic capabilities of the eye are minuscule; however, phase I and phase II metabolic activities have been detected in various ocular structures. The careful consideration of ocular tissue metabolic processes within the eye has important implications for controlling the detoxification of therapeutic agents and for providing the potential for site-specific bio-activation of certain drug molecules, thus enabling significant improvements in drug efficacy and the minimization of side-effect from either local or systemic drug delivery to the eye. Knowledge of these processes is important to prodrug and codrug development and to researchers involved in the design, delivery and metabolism of ophthalmic drugs. This present article reviews the progress in ocular prodrug and codrug design and delivery in light of ocular metabolic activities.

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Published in Molecules, v. 12, issue 3, p. 373-388.

© 2007 by MDPI

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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