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Glossary of Pharmacology 

Partial Agonist

Definition: 
An agonist that binds to the receptor and regardless of its concentration triggers a biological response that is less than the response triggered by a full agonist. Partial agonist binding to the receptor triggers a conformational change that facilitates the partial activation of the receptor and therefore, generates submaximal biological effect.  

Example:

Buprenorphine is a partial agonist of Âµ-opioid receptor and can partially activate the receptor leading to partial analgesic response with less side effects compared to full agonist. 

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