A prodrug is a medication or compound that, upon administration, becomes metabolized (i.e. converted in the body) into a pharmacologically active substance. Depending on the substance, it may or may not possess intrinsic pharmacological activity of its own.
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.
- 1,4-BD (prodrug for GHB)
- Benzobarbital (prodrug for phenobarbital)
- Carisoprodol (prodrug of meprobamate)
- Cloniprazepam (prodrug for clonazepam)
- Codeine (prodrug for morphine)
- GBL (prodrug for GHB)
- GHV (prodrug for GHB)
- Heroin (prodrug for morphine when taken orally)
- Medazepam (prodrug for diazepam)
- Tramadol (prodrug for O-Desmethyltramadol)
- 1A-LSD (prodrug for LSD)
- 1B-LSD (possible prodrug for LSD)
- 1P-ETH-LAD (suspected prodrug for ETH-LAD)
- 1P-LSD (prodrug for LSD)
- DOB (suspected prodrug)
- Ethocybin (prodrug for ethocin)
- HOT-2 (prodrug for 2C-T-2)
- HOT-7 (prodrug for 2C-T-7)
- Psilacetin (suspected prodrug for psilocin)
- Psilocybin (prodrug for psilocin)
- C. G. Wermuth, C. R. Ganellin, P. Lindberg, L. A. Mitscher; Ganellin; Lindberg; Mitscher (1998). "Glossary of terms used in medicinal chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1998)". Pure and Applied Chemistry. 70 (5): 1129. https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199870051129
- Sawynok J (January 1986). "The therapeutic use of heroin: a review of the pharmacological literature". Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 64 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1139/y86-001. PMID 2420426.