Eur J Hosp Pharm 20:68 doi:10.1136/ejhpharm-2012-000271
  • Editorial

Pharmacokinetic reasoning

Dosing of drugs is an art and a science. Scientific-based dosing is based on pharmacokinetics and knowledge of the positive and negative effects of the drug. Evaluation of dose strength, dose interval and eventually dosing length is based on measurement of drug concentration over time in the blood, the body or the urine. The relation of drug concentration to effect over time is expressed by simple mathematical expressions. The different relations are expressed in a series of technical terms such as bioavailability, volume of distribution, elimination rate, ED50 (effective dose for 50% given it) and clearance, assuming that the processes of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are linear and non-saturated.

The technical terms form a language for expert pharmacokineticists to talk and understand pharmacokinetics and to use for dose suggestions. For others, in the beginning they have a high degree of abstraction. The …

Correspondence to Professor Per Hartvig Honoré, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 2, Copenhagen 2100, Denmark; peh{at}

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