A metabolite is a chemical substance in the body that is the product of change or breakdown of another substance by the body's chemical "machinery," that is, something produced by the body's metabolism. When doctors talk of metabolites, they are often referring to a product of the body's processing of a medication. For example, salicylic acid is a metabolite of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), and as is sometimes the case, it is the metabolite - what the body transforms the drug into - that is the active ingredient. Another example is the antibiotic amoxicillin - "the pink stuff;" it is metabolized to the metabolite ampicillin, which is the active antibiotic. Amoxicillin is a form of ampicillin that is absorbed better orally than plain ampicillin. It is converted in the body to the active metabolite, ampicillin.

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