Therapeutic Efficacy

Therapeutic efficacy, or effectiveness, is the capacity of a drug to produce an effect and refers to the maximum such effect, e.g. if drug A can produce a therapeutic effect that cannot be obtained with drug

B, however much of drug B is given, then drug A has the higher therapeutic efficacy. Differences in therapeutic efficacy are of great clinical importance. Amiloride (low efficacy) can at best cause no more than 5% of the sodium load filtered by the glomeruli to be excreted; and there is no point in increasing the dose beyond that which achieves this for no greater diuretic effect can be attained. Bendrofluazide (moderate efficacy) can cause no more than 10% of the filtered sodium load to be excreted no matter how much drug is administered. Frusemide (high efficacy) can cause 25% and more of filtered sodium to be excreted; hence it is called a high efficacy diuretic.

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