Definition of efficacy

1) Efficacy describes the relative intensity with which agonists vary in the response they produce even when they occupy the same number of receptors and with the same affinity. Efficacy is not synonymous to Intrinsic activity. Efficacy is the property that enables drugs to produce responses. It is convenient to differentiate the properties of drugs into two groups, those which cause them to associate with the receptors (affinity) and those that produce stimulus (Efficacy). This term is often used to characterize the level of maximal responses induced by agonists. In fact, not all agonists of a receptor are capable of inducing identical levels of maximal responses. Maximal response depends on the efficiency of receptor coupling, i.e., from the cascade of events, which, from the binding of the drug to the receptor, leads to the observed biological effect.