MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: How do labs can measure the right dosage ?

Date: Tue Sep 28 21:35:41 2004
Posted By: Artem Evdokimov, Research Scientist
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 1094491788.Bc

Dear Patrick,

Consult your doctor regarding the first half of your question. Keep in 
mind that medicines that are prescribed to be delivered orally do NOT 
necessarily all work when applied to skin directly, and vice versa -  in 
fact it is a very, very bad idea to self-dose and experiment with 
application methods without consulting a medical doctor.

The second half of your question concerns the field of pharmacological dosage 
in general. This dosage is established experimentally. Normally, 
scientists would hypothesize the desired amount of drug, based on some 
perceived optimal, medicinally relevant concentration of the drug in 
blood, or serum, fat, muscle, etc. This concentration is then extrapolated 
into real life using complex calculations involving absorption, excretion, 
and metabolism parameters. Calculated values are nearly always off from 
what needs to be administered in real life, and therefore animal 
experiments are carried out with varied dosage patterns. Ultimately, 
dosage is confirmed or altered based on studies in healthy volunteers, and 
finally in patients, these two stages being parts of Clinical Trials - 
something that is extremely tightly regulated by the FDA and similar 
organizations. Clinical trials can involve thousands of people worldwide, 
and usually cost many millions of dollars which is why dosage is probably 
the most important parameter to get correct as early as possible because 
repeating trials with different dosage patterns can drive a company 

Hope this helps,


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