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Glossary of Pharmacology 

Tolerance 

Definition: 

Processes that result in the reduction of therapeutic effectiveness. Tolerance can occur acutely (tachyphylaxis) or over time due to physiological changes that result in drug desensitization and/or enhanced metabolism.

Relevance: 
Tolerance can result in decreased therapeutic efficacy by limiting the drug response over time. Clinically, this can impact dosing, requiring larger doses, drug holidays, or a combination of drugs acting on different targets to achieve the desired therapeutic response over longer periods of time.

Linked terms:  Desensitization, tachyphylaxis

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