Drug Efficacy

a. Drug efficacy refers to the effectiveness of a drug. Drug efficacy is measured by the clinical response of the patient. A drug is considered to have a high degree of efficacy, if it achieves desired clinical results.

b. Laboratory tests may be used to determine the amount of drug that has been absorbed. The amount of drug absorbed may be used to predict a patient's response. However, since people respond differently to the same dose of the same drug, merely knowing the amount of drug absorbed does not always indicate the response of an individual patient.

c. A general rule is that as the dose of a drug is increased, a greater effect is seen in the patient until a maximum desired effect is reached. If more drug is administered after the maximum point is reached, the side effects will normally increase. Figure 3-7 illustrates this principle.

Figure 3-7. Relationship between dosage and drug effect.

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