Dose-response curves illustrating the graded responses of five guinea pigs (a-e) to increasing doses of levarterenol. The responses are increases in heart rate above the rate measured before the administration of the drug. Broken lines indicate 50% of maximum response (horizontal) and individual ED50 values (vertical).

Potency and Intrinsic Activity

Another drug characteristic that can be compared by use of ED50 values is potency. Figure 2.4 illustrates the mean dose-response curves of three hypothetical drugs that increase heart rate. Drugs a and b produce the same maximum response (an increase in heart rate of

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