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A prodrug is a substance that is initially inactive when administered exogenously (outside of the body), but is converted by natural processes in the body into an endogenously (within the body) active form.

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, it may display other differences relating to pharmacokinetic factors (i.e. how a substance is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted) compared its nonprodrug form.[citation needed]


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