Potency (pharmacology)

Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

In the field of pharmacology, potency is a measure of drug activity expressed in terms of the amount required to produce an effect of given intensity. A highly potent drug (e.g., fentanyl, alprazolam, risperidone, bumetanide, bisoprolol) evokes a given response at low concentrations, while a drug of lower potency (meperidine, diazepam, ziprasidone, furosemide, metoprolol) evokes the same response only at higher concentrations. Higher potency does not necessarily mean more side effects.