Toxic Levels of Different Drugs


I'm sure all of us have taken a drug or two, in fact I could say each and everyone of us have taken many different drugs. Be it for a fever an illness or for supplements. But did you know these drugs that are supposed to cure us can also lead to damage in our body.

Yes, you've read right. Most of us especially those who aren't into medical field neglect the usage of these drugs. They take medications even without the doctors prescription, which is a BIG NO NO...

During the early times administration of drugs are carried out by trial and error. If the patient didn't manifest change in a given period of time the dosage of the drug given would be increased. In the same manner if the patient undergoing the treatment showed adverse effects of the drug taken the dosage of the drug would be decreased.

But nowadays there is a convenient way of determining whether the drug dosage can give its desired effect or whether the dosage can cause toxicity into the body.

TDM was developed in order to determine the subtherapeutic, therapeutic and toxic dose of a drug. Subtherapeutic being the dosage in which a drug do not cause toxicity nor cause the desired effect of the drug. Therapeutic is the level of the drug where the optimum amount of medication needed is achieved. And lastly the toxic dose in which the drug dosage causes toxicity into the body.

Different drugs have different levels of toxicity. In this blog post we would discuss some of the drugs' toxic levels.


Antibiotics used for treating severe infections caused by gram negative bacteria. It works by blocking the protein synthesis causing an incorrect protein to be manufactured. Gentamicin can cause toxicity to the kidney



These type of cardioactive drug works by altering the activity of cardiac muscles specifically the sodium and potassium pump.


A drug for the heart which is used to stabilize the heartbeat.


N-acetyl-procainamide is a drug which is used to cure ventricular arrhythmias. It stabilizes the heart rhythm 30 second after intake of the drug .


A type of myocardial depressant that stabilizes the rhythm of the heart by lowering the heart activity and contraction. This is achieved by lowering the electrical conductibility of the heart.


Anticonvulsants are drug for epileptic patients where the drug inhibits the transmission of the nerve impulse. Examples of such drugs are...
  • Carbamazepine
  • Ethosuximide
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Primidone
  • Valproic acid



Lithium carbonate is a drug used to treat manic depressive illness, a type of mood disorder.



The active ingredient of aspirin which is a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory agent.


Similar to aspirin in a way that it can be used to cure fever but it doesn't contain an anti-inflammatory effect.



Used primarilly as bronchodilator, but also function as CNS stimulant and it strenghten the cardiac muscles.



Clinical Chemistry by Calbreath pg. 409 - 420
Clinical Chemistry by Bishop pg. 571 - 583

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Are you in favor of drug testing before admission in school? and why?

Am I in favor?

Ofcourse its a big YES....

But the question is why... why am I in favor of this???

Basically my main reason is for the safety of the students

As we all know taking prohibited drugs such as marijuana, shabu, ecstacy and the likes gives a high feeling to the user, which makes you crave and want more... ADDICTION

And we know for a fact that these drugs are expensive, but once you got hooked to it you'll want more and more. As you crave for more you'll eventually lack the means to sustain you addiction. What will you do? you'll find ways to get enough money which will lead to... CRIME

Once you're in the "high state" you forget your inhibitions, you're not scared. You have the will to do anything, including... VIOLENCE

Summing these factors... spells D A N G E R...

Who would want danger in a place where you're supposed to learn and be ready for the real world ahead? Certainly no one...

I think drug testing before admission into school is a good idea... besides "IF YOU'RE NOT GUILTY, WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?"...

And one thing... Drug testing can help uplift the standards of educational institutions, because education is a treasure that nobody can't take away from you...

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TOXIC, the most renowned word for Medical Technology students specially for us 4th years... whenever we feel stressed out in projects, questions for research, thesis, long quiz, prelims and etc we usually say "arggghhh TOXIC"... which implies... something that's hard, something that is bad for us...

So based from our favorite adjective... TOXIC is something that is not good for our body... or rather something that is POISONOUS

As I mentioned earlier toxicity is everywhere, we can encounter them everyday, everywhere and anytime. Sometimes we don't even notice that they can cause dangers in our health. Even the food or drugs we ingest that we think are safe can cause harmful effects into our body.

HEPATITIS... did you know that hepatitis can also be induced by certain drugs?

THE VICTIM: my brother...

Way back from my grade school days my mother used to restrain us from eating food from the street vendors. "Dirty food" as we call them, cause we're not sure whether they're clean or not.

One day my brother was diagnosed of hepatitis A which is usually transmitted from contaminated food and water. So we thought that this was caused by the contaminated food, but later on it was diagnosed as drug induced hepatitis.....

THE SUSPECT: Cephalexin...

from what we've discovered the drug in question was cephalexin which my brother took before the signs and symptoms of hepatitis A were manifested....

Drug induced hepatitis is a common effect of drugs which causes toxicity in the liver, since the liver is the one responsible for metabolizing medications. There are some drugs that are toxic to the liver of some people, that's why they cause liver injury if taken in higher doses.

  • fever
  • flu
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sore muscles
  • jaundice
  • Joint aches

  • Liver function test
  • Over dose drug testing
  • Alcohol test
  • drug screening

For other side effects of cephalexin click here


Usually there is no treatment in drug induced hepatitis, intake of drug is ceased


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The Tests...

Progesterone and estrogen are hormones that are produce in the ovary.

They are important in the regulation of menstrual cycle, maintenance of pregnancy, development of secondary sexual characteristics and other.

Thus checking their levels in our body is essential for us to determine if there are abnormalities present.

These two hormones can be detected using different methods and even different kinds of specimen. We could determine their level in the circulation using blood and even in the urine.

Using blood specimens we could perform different immunoassay such as Radio Immuno Assay (RIA) and Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)........


Since progesterone helps in the regulation of the menstrual cycle we could check for progesterone level so as to determine if the patient has ovulated or not. Thus this test can be used to determine infertility of women.

Progesterone in pregnant women rises 10 to 20 times higher than the luteal phase peak. Thus progesterone test is used to determine the ovulation and detect problems in luteal phase. It can also be used to monitor progesterone therapy.


Zimmermann reaction

In this procedure an expanded array of steroids can be determined as long as it has oxygen containing carbon-20 and a group on carbon 21. These steroids can be converted into 17-ketosteroid which is present in urine.

This technique involves hydrolysis of urine into acid and extraction using ethylene dichloride. After extraction it is dried and the residue is then reacted with zimmerman reagent (m-dinitrobenzene). It then forms a red colored solution and measured spectrophotmetrically at 520nm

Immunoassay technique

ELISA Progesterone test

The progesterone test uses ELISA to determine the progesterone level in serum. Using the principle of competitive binding the patient's progesterone and the standard progesterone competes with limited binding sites.

The excess progesterone which are not bound with the antibodies are then washed. After washing color reagent is then added to form colored solution and then incubated. After incubation stop solution is added and then measured spectrophotometrically at 450 nm.



Since estradiol is the true female hormone it is the only hormone essential to evaluate ovarian function.

Estradiol determination is associated with differentiation of the cause of amenorrhea. High levels are seen in patients with hyperfunction of the ovary.


The major hormone present in pregnant women is estriol, thus determination of estriol level of pregnant women helps in monitoring dangerous pregnancy.

Genetic disorders are also associated with low levels of estriol, such as down syndrome, adrenal abnormalities and other trisomies.


In menopause women the ovaries ceases the production of estradiol and in turn produces estrone. Thus non menopausal women have small amount of estrone in their circulation. Abnormal results may be associated with tumor and hypopituitarism.


Kober reaction

Due to the increase estrogen specifically estriol in pregnancy urine is used to monitor the development of the fetus during pregnancy. The assay used in determining urine estrogen is the kober reaction.

This method involves the heating of a urine sample in a strong aqueous solution containing hydroquinone. After cooling and dilution the reddish brown solution is then measured for its absorbance.

Other color reactions ...

click here


Use of ampicillin or neomycin causes a decrease of urine estrogen because of the diminished hydrolysis of estriol conjugated. This is caused by the antibiotic that reduces the bacterial level in the urine.

Meprobamate, L-dopa, and phenolphthalein gives falsely elevated levels of estrogen in urine.

Immunoassay techniques

ELISA estradiol test

Measurement of estradiol in serum makes use of ELISA just like the progesterone tests. It employs the principle of competitive binding where the patient's estradiol competes with the standard control.

Then extra unbound estradiol is washed and then TMB is added to make a color blue solution. It is then incubated and then stop solution is added and then measured spectrophotometrically in 450 nm.


Oral contraceptive and some vitamins interfere with progesterone and estrogen test

Estrogen and progesterone levels vary from different menstrual phase

Glucose level should be tested before performing the test

Universal precaution must be observed

Avoid hemolysis of specimen

Normal values:


1st 3 months :9-50 ng/ml
2nd 3 months : 18-150 ng/ml
3rd 3 months : 60-260 ng/ml
male: 0.1-0.3 ng/ml
luteal phase: >10 ng/ml


Adult women: 30-400 pg/ml
Menopaused women: 0-30 pg/ml
Males: 10-50 pg/ml

click here
for serum progesterone and estrogen reference range.

Photo Credits

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The female gonad and its hormones

Basically gonad is a reproductive organ which is classified into two, the male gonad or the testes and the female gonad, the ovary. In this post we will discuss about the female gonad, the reproductive gland of the female body.

The female gonad or more well known as the ovary is found on the pelvis of the female body. This oval shaped ovaries on each side of the body produces eggs alternately every month, which are needed along with the sperm cells from the male gonad in order to produce an offspring.

It doesn't only acts as reservoir of the egg cells but it also secretes hormones which are very important for normal functioning of the body, development of the female body and it also plays an important role during pregnancy.

The ovary produces two hormones, namely progesterone and estrogen. This hormones are classified as steroid hormones and are further subdivided into mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids and sex steroids. The hormones produced from the ovary are classified under sex steroids.


Progesterone's main function is to prepare the placenta for the implantation of the ovum during fertilization and it also stimulates the development of the mammary gland. It is produced in low amounts during the start of the menstruation but peaks at the middle and then returns to normal after menstruation ends.

To learn more about progesterone watch this video...

uploaded by beautyisnteverything

for the structure of progesterone click here


There are three major estrogens, namely estradiol, estriol and estrone

Estradiol - helps in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. It also assist in the regulation of FSH and LH in the anterior pituitary.

Estrone and Estriol - these two estrogens are present in normal non pregnant women but the latter rises in pregnancy.

To learn more about estrogen watch this video...

uploaded by iHealthTube

for the structure of estrogen click here

photo credits:


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Endocrinology, Toxicology and Drug Testing

Endocrinology... from the word itself you can already grasp what the word means. Endocrine and logy-- logy which means to study and endocrine which is an organ system in our body. I thought this subject would focus on our endocrine system and true to my thoughts after reading from books and of course the ever so easy to access, the internet!

I came to learn that Endocrinology focuses on the hormones that the endocrine glands produces. These hormones which are very important so that our body would function normally, such as metabolism and reproduction.

The Endocrine system is composed of glands that are located in our body and these glands are...

  • Pineal gland
  • Pituitary gland
  • Thyroid gland
  • Thymus
  • Adrenal gland
  • Pancreas
  • The gonads

Toxicology... Have you ever experienced accidentally touching a chemical inside the laboratory? or accidentally splashing some chemicals??? those people especially students in the medical field does this incidents sounds familiar? yep me too I already experienced freaking out and being paranoid thinking what would happen...
When I first saw toxicology from my registration form I thought wow! interesting.

Eventually after reading the definition of toxicology from different sources I learned that this subject studies the effect of different chemicals into our body. How does this poisonous chemicals interact inside the living creatures body.

Personally I think studying toxicology would help us medical technologies to be more careful from handling these chemicals because we already know the effects it will cause to us.

Drug Testing...from what I know drug testing is a test that is performed to detect the presence of a certain drug in the urine. But after reading the definition of this test from different sources I came to learn that drug testing can also be performed using different specimens like sweat or hair

But because of the cost of these tests the most common biological specimen used is the urine, that's why it is the most famous among the other tests.

Different drugs have different approximate values of detection. For example heroin, it can only be detected in urine after 3-4 days. For reference of different approximate time of detection of each drug go to

By: Princess

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