The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 1–23

Theoretical considerations on potentiation in drug interaction

  • H. D. Landahl

DOI: 10.1007/BF02476558

Cite this article as:
Landahl, H.D. Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics (1958) 20: 1. doi:10.1007/BF02476558


To account for some of the more important aspects of drug interaction we shall consider a model which can also account for certain general properties of the action of a single drug. A simple model in which there may be enzymatic detoxification of a drug is studied theoretically. The relation between time for appearance of an effect due to the drug and the size of the dose is found to contain the same parameters as the relation between the effectiveness of paired doses and the interval of time between doses. A similar situation holds when the drug is given at a constant rate.

When two drugs are administered together, their effect will depend on the manner of interaction, how much of each drug is given, which is given first, and on the interval of time between each administration. A number of plausible types of interaction is considered theoretically in terms of the model, analytical expressions being given for a number of cases. The interaction may be synergistic or antagonistic. In the former case the potentiation may be more than or less than additive depending on the order of delivery and on the time between injections. Methods for the estimation of the parameters from data are discussed.

Copyright information

© University of Chicago 1958

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. D. Landahl
    • 1
  1. 1.Committee on Mathematical BiologyThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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