Characteristics of indirect pharmacodynamic models and applications to clinical drug responses

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1998 Mar;45(3):229-39. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1998.00676.x.


This review describes four basic physiologic indirect pharmacodynamic response (IDR) models which have been proposed to characterize the pharmacodynamics of drugs that act by indirect mechanisms such as inhibition or stimulation of the production or dissipation of factors controlling the measured effect. The principles underlying IDR models and their response patterns are described. The applicability of these basic IDR models to characterize pharmacodynamic responses of diverse drugs such as inhibition of gastric acid secretion by nizatidine and stimulation of MX protein synthesis by interferon alpha-2a is demonstrated. A list of other uses of these models is provided. These models can be readily extended to accommodate additional complexities such as nonstationary or circadian baselines, equilibration delay, depletion or accumulation of a precursor pool, sigmoidicity, or other mechanisms. Indirect response models which have a logical mechanistic basis account for time-delays in many responses and are widely applicable in clinical pharmacology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacology*