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The smallest thing our body's immune system reacts to?

  1. Oct 20, 2015 #1
    Slightly different question, if we start taking a small constant daily dosage of medicine that quickly reaches some roughly constant percentage in the blood-stream does the body have mechanisms that over a period of days can reduce the percentage of that medicine in the blood-stream even if we continue taking the medicine at a constant daily rate? I was wondering if the immune system attacks medicine?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2015 #2


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    Gold Member

    For starters define "medicine". That is a highly ambiguous term that could mean anything from iron supplements to proteins to live cultures.
  4. Oct 20, 2015 #3
    Was thinking in particular of the drug Ativan,

  5. Oct 20, 2015 #4
    What happens is that you build a "tolerance" to the medication whereby it's efficacy decreases over steady (tonic) use. What is tolerance? Well, for psychoactive drugs it's typically downregulation of the relevant receptor(s). I don't think the problem is the immune system attacking the chemical.

    From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzodiazepine_dependence

    "Tolerance develops rapidly to the sleep-inducing effects of benzodiazepine. The anticonvulsant and muscle-relaxant effects last for a few weeks before tolerance develops in most individuals. Tolerance results in a desensitization of GABA receptors and an increased sensitization of the excitatory neurotransmitter system, glutamate such as NMDAglutamate receptors. These changes occur as a result of the body trying to overcome the drug's effects. Other changes that occur are the reduction of the number of GABA receptors (downregulation) as well as possibly long-term changes in gene transcription coding of brain cells."

    My guess is that you got your hands on some benzodiazepines (e.g., Ativan) somehow whether from a friend or legitimate prescription and they're starting to not work as well as they did a couple weeks ago. It's not likely to get any better. So my advice to you (in the spirit of Evo) is to seek professional medical attention for perhaps an alternative solution.

    If that doesn't work, I may have a buddy that can help you out :wink: (just kidding).
  6. Oct 21, 2015 #5
    It is all legally prescribed for a loved one. It was the first drug in 7 weeks that had any effect to reduce some serious anxiety. Started to work this past Friday, worked great Saturday, not as much Sunday, Monday Tuesday. none of this was explained.

    Bottom line is she is still in a much better place then last Friday morning, Hell.

    Thank you for the help!
  7. Oct 21, 2015 #6


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Tell your friend to talk to her doctor about it, we can't advise her here.
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