Prodrugs are inactive precursors of active forms,theyrequire metabolic alteration in the body to become active
Prodrugs are pharmacologically inactive compounds that require a metabolic conversion in the body to become active. They are designed in such a way that they are biologically inert until they undergo a specific chemical or enzymatic transformation, which results in the formation of the active drug.
Prodrugs are often used in drug design to improve the pharmacokinetic properties of a drug, such as its absorption, distribution, and bioavailability. By modifying the structure of a drug molecule and creating a prodrug, it is possible to enhance its ability to cross biological barriers, such as the blood-brain barrier or the intestinal barrier, and improve its pharmacological activity.
Some examples of prodrugs include codeine, which is converted to morphine in the liver, and enalapril, which is converted to enalaprilat, the active form, in the liver and kidneys.