Uses Of Subjectiveeffect Measures

The methodology for assessing the subjective effects of drugs was developed, in large part, to characterize the abuse liability, the pharmacological properties, and the therapeutic utility of drugs. Abuse liability is the term for the likelihood that a drug will be used illicitly for nonmedical purposes. The assessment of the abuse-liability profile of a new drug has historically been studied by comparing it with a known drug, whose effects have been previously characterized. Drugs that produce euphoria are considered more likely to be abused than drugs that do not produce euphoria.

Subjective-effects measures may also be used to characterize the time course of a drug's action (such as time to drug onset, time to maximal or peak effect, and the duration of the drug effect). These procedures can provide information about the pharmacological properties of a particular drug, such as its drug class, whether it has AGONIST or ANTAGONIST effects, and its similarity to proto-typic drugs within a given drug class. Subjective-response reports are also useful in assessing the efficacy (the ability of a drug to produce its desired

TABLE 1

Typical Response Profiles for Sedatives, Stimulants, and Opiates on Selected Subjective-Effect Measures

TABLE 1

Typical Response Profiles for Sedatives, Stimulants, and Opiates on Selected Subjective-Effect Measures

Global Effects

ARCI

POMS

Adjectives

Liking

High

PCAG

Fatigue (increase) Vigor (decrease)

Tired Sleepy Relaxed Drunk

Liking

High

MBG

Vigor (increase) Fatigue (decrease)

Stimulated Nervous Thirsty Jittery

Liking

High

MBG PCAG

Nauseous Itchy Nodding Energetic

effects), potency (amount or dose of a drug needed to produce that effect), and therapeutic utility of a new drug. Subjective reports provide information regarding the potency and efficacy of a new drug in comparison to available treatment agents. Subjective-effect measures may be useful in determining whether a drug produces side effects that are dangerous or intolerable to the patient. Drugs thatpro-duce unpleasant or dysphoric mood-altering effects may have limited therapeutic usefulness.

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