Main Body

5. Drug Action vs. Drug Effect

Drug Action: drug-receptor interaction that results in a change in the tertiary structure of the receptor (conformational change) by agonists

  • See right: Norepinephrine [NE] acts as an agonist, activating its receptor to initiate a cascade of cellular events.

Drug/Pharmacological Effect: specific changes in physiological function as a result of drug interaction with a particular receptor.

  • See right: the drug-receptor interaction leads to a cascade of events ultimately causing the heart to contract.

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Principles of Pharmacology - Study Guide by Edited by Dr. Esam El-Fakahany and Becky Merkey, MEd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.