Antivenin (antivenom)

Definition and Use Antivenin is a serum product, also called antivenom, cultivated from animal blood and given therapeutically to neutralize the effects of poisonous venoms such as from bites and stings. It is specific to a particular venom and works by activating antibodies that enable the person’s immune system to fend off the effects of the venom. When possible, safely […]

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low cost prescription programs

Low-Cost Prescription Programs

Definition of Low-Cost Prescription Programs Low-Cost Prescription Programs – need-based programs, usually under the sponsorship of major pharmaceutical manufacturers, that make certain prescription medications available to people who lack insurance coverage for prescription medications or who cannot otherwise afford to obtain them. Most low-cost prescription programs have income limitations for enrollees and many require that a […]

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Therapeutic Equivalence

Definition of Therapeutic Equivalence Therapeutic Equivalence – in pharmacology, drugs that have the same active ingredients in the same forms and have the same actions within the body. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees drug approval in the United States, refers to such drugs as bioequivalent with matching efficacy and safety profiles. Therapeutically equivalent drugs […]

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Bioavailability of Drugs – Definition and Information

Definition of Bioavailability Bioavailability is the amount of a drug’s active ingredient the body absorbs and the length of time it takes for that ingredient to cause an effect in the body. A common means of determining bioavailability is to measure the concentrations of the drug in the blood circulation or in the urine at certain time intervals. Doctors know the spectrum […]

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Narrow Therapeutic Index (NTI)

Definition of Narrow Therapeutic Index (NTI) Narrow Therapeutic Index (NTI) is a very close margin between the concentration in the blood circulation of a drug that is therapeutic and the concentration that is lethal (deadly). Pharmacists generally express the therapeutic index as a ratio between the median effective dose (ED50) and the median lethal dose (LD50). A drug has a narrow therapeutic […]

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Therapeutic Level

Definition of Therapeutic Level Therapeutic Level – the amount of a drug in the blood circulation that is necessary to achieve and sustain the desired effect for treatment, which is usually a steady state with little variation between the drug’s peak level and trough level. Doctors calculate dosages to achieve a therapeutic level, factoring the person’s age, body weight, and […]

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Bioequivalence Definition and Information

Definition of Bioequivalence Bioequivalence – a drug that has the same biological effect in the body as a substance the body makes naturally (such as a hormone supplement) or two or more drugs that have the same bioavailability and efficacy. Bioequivalence is a significant concern with narrow therapeutic index (nti) drugs, which require precise and consistent dosing, as well […]

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Off-Label Use

Definition of Off-Label Use Off-Label Use – Taking a drug for a purpose other than that for which it has received regulatory approval. In the United States the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a drug before approving it for use. Once a drug receives FDA approval, however, doctors […]

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Therapeutic Window

Defintion of Therapeutic Window Therapeutic Window – the dosage range within which most of a drug’s likely population will experience the expected efficacy and therapeutic value of the drug. The therapeutic window is important to doctors when they calculate dosages, providing a clinically valid starting point for most people. Individual characteristics such as other health conditions, other medications being […]

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Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) Enzymes – Definition

Definition of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes Cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP450)- a group of about 60 endogenous enzymes (enzymes the body produces) that participate in the metabolism of drugs. The CYP450 enzymes also participate in lipid (notably cholesterol) and steroid hormone synthesis. Most of enzymes, that are active in drug metabolism, are in the liver and the small intestine. The […]

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