Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
accumulationA build-up, assembly; the process of accumulating, collecting together.
The progressive increase in the concentration of a chemical, drug, or other agent in an organism or tissue, due to higher doses than can be metabolised, or due to poor metabolism of the agent; the amount of a drug or therapeutic agent in the body, which after the drug has reached a state of equilibrium, is a function of the dose interval and the drug’s T1⁄2.
Equilibrium usually requires a time interval of 4- to 6-times the drug’s half-life, and depends on the rates of absorption and elimination; the drug continues to accumulate until the amount of drug administered in a time period equals that eliminated in the same period.
Factors in accumulation
Selective binding of the drug in tissues, concentration of fat soluble drugs in fat, absent or slow metabolism of the drug, slow excretion of the drug, and intercurrent illness; accumulation continues until the amount eliminated per dosage interval is equal to the amount administered during that time.