Saturday, September 10, 2005

Area Under Curve (AUC)

Who uses it: Pharmacists and doctors
What it means: The time that a drug has biological effects after administration. My brother Ed says, "This is a particularly cool and useful metric for determining dosing and potential drug-drug interactions. A drug can have a very high useful biological effect but short AUC (e.g., most insulins) or a fairly low useful biological effect over a long period (e.g., most chemo and osteoporosis drugs)." Thanks, Ed!
How you can use it: When choosing your evening's intoxicant. "I'd take a Valium, but find that bourbon has a higher AUC for me," is really just another way of saying, "Nembutal/Numbs it all/But I prefer/Alcohol..."

Greetings from the wilds of western Connecticut, where I'm working on some projects with my friend Susan Kinsolving. It's the beginning of my first New England fall, so I should not be surprised to discover that I have hay fever.

Some part of me doesn't want to believe in allergies, even though my sister Kathy and I had years of allergy shots as children. I feel that I ought to be able to ignore them or overcome them by sheer force of will, as if a running nose and swollen eyes are things that I'm just faking. Yesterday I wore my glasses instead of my contacts, thinking that might help, but it didn't; my contacts might even offer a little protection from whatever's in the air. In the meantime, I'm popping Benadryl like candy.

A most exceptionally happy birthday today to Sarah Reinhardt, whose party I'm sad to be missing -- hope it's the beginning of a fabulous new decade for you, Sarah, with all the best yet to come.

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