Introduction: The rising prevalence of obesity confronts clinicians with dosing problems in the (extreme) overweight population. Obesity has a great impact on key organs that play a role in the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of drugs, however the ultimate impact of these changes on how to adapt the dose may not always be known. Areas covered: In this review, physiological changes associated with obesity are discussed. An overview is provided on the alterations in absorption, distribution, drug metabolism and clearance in (morbid) obesity focusing on general principles that can be extracted from pharmacokinetic studies. Also, relevant pharmacodynamic considerations in obesity are discussed. Expert opinion: Over the last two decades, increased knowledge is generated on PK and PD in obesity. Future research should focus on filling in the knowledge gaps that remain, especially in connecting obesity-related physiological changes with changes in PK and/or PD and vice versa. Ultimately, this knowledge can be used to develop physiologically based PK and PD models on the basis of quantitative systems pharmacology principles. Moreover, efforts should focus on thorough prospective evaluation of developed model-based doses with subsequent implementation of these dosing recommendations in clinical practice.