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In pharmacology, biological activity or pharmacological activity describes the beneficial or adverse effects of a drug on living matter. When a drug is a complex chemical mixture, this activity is exerted by the substance's active ingredient or pharmacophore but can be modified by the other constituents. Activity is generally dosage-dependent. Further, it is common to have effects ranging from beneficial to adverse for one substance when going from low to high doses. Activity depends critically on fulfillment of the ADME criteria.

Whereas a material is considered bioactive if it has interaction with or effect on any cell tissue in the human body, pharmacological activity is usually taken to describe beneficial effects, i.e. the effects of drug candidates as well as a substance's toxicity.


See also

  • Lipinski's Rule of Five, describing molecular properties of drugs
  • QSAR, quantitative structure-activity relationship
  • Chemical property
  • Molecular property
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Physical property
  • Chemical structure

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