Analysis of competitive antagonism when this property occurs as part of a pharmacological resultant

Br J Pharmacol. 1986 Nov;89(3):547-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1986.tb11155.x.


In this paper, pharmacological resultant is defined as the net effect of a single compound resulting from the simultaneous expression of two or more specific actions. The principles of concentration-ratio analysis are extended to develop a method for detecting and quantifying competitive antagonism when this property is a component of a pharmacological resultant. The method is general to the extent that it allows analysis of competitive antagonism in combination with all types of post-receptor intervention. Essentially it depends on the altered expression of competition by a reference antagonist. It incorporates tests for validating its application and it is independent of agonist concentration-effect curve shape: in these respects the method is analogous to Schild plot-analysis of simple competition. The methodology for the practical application of the analysis is exemplified by studying the net effect of a combination of a phosphodiesterase inhibitor (isobutylmethylxanthine) and histamine H2-receptor antagonist (metiamide) on histamine-stimulated tachycardia in guinea-pig, isolated, right atrium. Cimetidine was used as the reference antagonist. The equation used in this analysis is similar in form to one recently described by Hughes & Mackay (1985) to elucidate the situation when competitive antagonism occurs in combination with functional interactions. The relation between their method and the present analysis is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-3-isobutylxanthine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cimetidine / pharmacology
  • Drug Antagonism*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Impromidine
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Metiamide / pharmacology
  • Models, Biological


  • Imidazoles
  • Metiamide
  • Cimetidine
  • Impromidine
  • 1-Methyl-3-isobutylxanthine