Pharmacodynamics: Desensitization and tolerance
Desensitization and tolerance are two related but distinct concepts that describe changes in the body's response to a drug over time. Desensitization refers to a decrease in the response of a receptor to a drug, resulting in a reduced effect of the drug. This can occur due to a decrease in the number of receptors or a change in the way the receptors interact with the drug.
Tolerance refers to a decrease in the effectiveness of a drug over time, requiring the use of higher doses to achieve the same effect. Tolerance can occur due to several mechanisms, such as changes in the number or function of receptors, changes in the way drugs are metabolized, or changes in the way drugs are transported across the blood-brain barrier.
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