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  • Cited by 2
  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: September 2009

9 - Pharmacodynamic principles and mechanisms of drug interactions

from Part III - Pharmacodynamic interactions


Pharmacodynamic interactions consist of the quantitative or qualitative alterations of any effect of a drug on any organ when these alterations are caused by the presence of another drug in the body. In order for two drugs to have a pharmacodynamic interaction, they have to share at least one common pharmacodynamic property or they have to share an identifiable clinical effect. Whenever a patient takes two or more medications simultaneously, there is the potential for some type of pharmacodynamic interaction. There can be doubt that one of the main disadvantages of antiepileptic combination therapy is an increase in the intensity or number of side effects. This chapter discusses the clinical significance of pharmacodynamic interactions and their advantages and disadvantages. A literature review of data in animals and in humans was used to determine whether appropriate antiepileptic drugs (AED) combinations can be selected on the basis of their mechanism of action.

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