GLOSSARY: Bioavailability

Bioavailability is used to describe the fraction of an administered dose of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation, one of the principal pharmacokinetic properties of drugs. By definition, when a medication is administered intravenously, its bioavailability is 100%.[1] However, when a medication is administered via other routes (such as orally), its bioavailability decreases (due to incomplete absorption and first-pass metabolism) or may vary from patient to patient (due to inter-individual variation). Bioavailability is one of the essential tools in Pharmacokinetics, as bioavailability must be considered when calculating dosages for non-intravenous routes of administration.