Effective dose 50
White, Colin Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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This term is used chiefly to characterize the potency of a drug by the amount required to produce a response in 50% of the subjects to whom the drug is given. The term is also known as ED50 or median effective dose. At one time it was usual to try to measure the effect of a drug by noting the amount which was just sufficient to produce a particular response; but when it was realized that this amount varied greatly from subject to subject, attention was turned to measuring the effect on a group of subjects. Suppose, for example, that a drug is being used to relieve a certain type of pain; then the median effective dose is of such a size that it controls the pain in 50% of the sufferers and is insufficient to control it in the remaining 50%.
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