Conventionally dose is plotted on the horizontal and response on the vertical axis. The slope of the dose-response curve defines the extent to which a desired response alters as the dose is changed. A
3 Greek: cheir, a hand
4 R (rectus) and S (sinister) refer to the sequential arrangement of the constituent parts of the molecule around the chiral center.
steep-rising and prolonged curve indicates that a small change in dose produces a large change in drug effect over a wide dose range, e.g. with the loop diuretic, frusemide (furosemide) (used in doses from 20 mg to over 250 mg/d). By contrast the dose-response curve for the thiazide diuretics soon reaches a plateau and the clinically useful dose range for bendrofluazide (bendroflumethiazide), for example, extends from 5 mg to 10 mg; increasing the dose beyond this produces no added diuretic effect though it adds to toxicity.
Dose-response curves may be constructed for wanted effects, and also for unzvanted effects (see Fig. 7.1, below).
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