Kinetics of Drug Action

Volume 47 of the series Handbuch der experimentellen Pharmakologie / Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology pp 169-254

General Theory of Drug-Receptor Interactions

Drug-Receptor Interaction Models. Calculation of Drug Parameters
  • F. G. van den Brink

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In the study of the interaction between pharmacologically active molecules and different types of receptor-effector systems (often designated as molecular pharmacology) an important role is played by theoretical mathematical models with which these interactions can be described (Clark, 1926, 1937; Gaddum, 1926, 1937; Ariëns, 1954; Ariëns et al., 1956a, b, c, 1964a, b, c; Stephenson, 1956; Van Rossum, 1958, 1966; Paton, 1961; Paton and Waud, 1964; Paton and Rang, 1966; Van den Brink, 1969 c, d, 1973 a, b). It should be stressed that these models do not pretend to be exact representations of the enormously complicated chain of events leading from the contact between the molecules of a pharmacologically active substance and a biological entity to the ensuing effect. This they cannot do and it is not their purpose. Even on a theoretical level the equations used only hold fully if quite a number of presuppositions are made (Van Rossum, 1966; Van den Brink, 1969 b). In practice the models cannot be expected to give more than a usable overall description of reality.