Andrzej Stańczak, Paweł Baranczewski, Wiesława Lewgowd
Prodrugs. Prodrugs can be viewed as drugs containing specialized non-toxic protective groups used in a transient manner to alter or to eliminate undesirable properties in the parent molecule (IUPAC 1998). They are pharmacologically inactive derivatives of active drugs and are designed to maximize the amount of active drug that reaches its site of action, through manipulation of the physicochemical, biopharmaceutical or pharmacokinetic properties. Produgs are converted into the active form within the through enzymatic or non-enzymatic reaction. Classical prodrugs designed often represent a nonspecific chemical approach to mask undesirable drug properties such limited bioavailability, lack out site specificity and chemical instability. On the other hand, targeted prodrugs design represents a new strategy for directed and efficient drug delivery. Particularly, targeting the prodrugs to a specific enzyme or a specific membrane transporter, or both has potential as a selective drug delivery system.