Idealized dose-response curves of an agonist in the absence (a) and the presence (b, c, d) of increasing doses of a non-equilibrium-competitive antagonist.
In noncompetitive antagonism, the antagonist acts at a site beyond the receptor for the agonist. The difference between a competitive and a noncompetitive antagonist can be appreciated from the following scheme, in which two agonists, A and B, interact with totally different receptor systems, RA and RB, to initiate a chain of events leading to contraction of a vascular smooth muscle cell. X is a competitive antagonist, and Y is a noncompetitive antagonist.
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