Skip to main content

How does your body process medicine? - Céline Valéry


16,283 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Have you ever wondered what happens to a painkiller, like ibuprofen, after you swallow it? Medicine that slides down your throat can help treat a headache, a sore back, or a throbbing sprained ankle. But how does it get where it needs to go in the first place? Céline Valéry explains how your body processes medicine.

Codeine is not an active molecule. It needs to be converted by liver enzymes into morphine to have a pain killing effect. Drugs that need to be activated by the body, as codeine, are called prodrugs. What is the effect of varying levels of liver enzymes (due to age, genetics, disease, and other factors) on the therapeutic activity of codeine and other prodrugs?

Sign in to answer question

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Céline Valéry
  • Director Daniel Gray
  • Script Editor Eleanor Nelsen
  • Producer Bella Szederkényi, CUB Animation Ltd.
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Julianna Zarzycki

More from Getting Under Our Skin