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Tachyphylaxis

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Tachyphylaxis is a medical term describing a rapidly decreasing response to a drug following administration of the initial doses. Examples of tachyphylaxis are the following:

  • Nitroglycerine demonstrates tachyphylaxis, requiring drug-free intervals when administered transdermally
  • Repeated doses of ephedrine may display tachyphylaxis, since it is an indirectly acting sympathomimetic amine which will deplete noradrenaline from the nerve terminal. Thus repeated doses result in less noradrenaline being released than the initial dose.
  • Nicotine may also show tachyphylaxis over the course of a day, although the mechanism of this action is unclear.
  • Metoclopramide is another example.

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