Efficacy and Potency

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  • Potency - when two drugs produce equivalent responses, the drug whose dose-response curve lies to the left of the other is said to be the most potent
  • Described using the half-maximally effective concentration (EC50) to produce a given effect
  • Determined by efficacy and affinity
  • Efficacy - the ability of a drug to activate its receptor and produce a cellular response
  • When two drugs produce differing maximal responses, the observed maximal response is a nonlinear function of their relative intrinsic efficacies
  • A full agonist would have high efficacy, a partial agonist has low efficacy