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The programme looks at how a mathematical model can help in obtaining the best results from a drug used to treat asthma.
Module code and title: M101, Mathematics: a foundation course M101; 22; 1986 24-08-1986 1986 00:23:57 + Show more... David Saunders Jeffrey Aronson; Stewart Gartside; Oliver Penrose BBC Open University Aminopylline; Asthma; Blood; Drug distribution; Human body; Medicine; Pharmacy; Theophylline One of the more recent applications of mathematics is in the field of medicine, and an example of growing importance is the mathematical analysis of drug distribution in the human body. The particular drug discussed in this programme is theophylline, which is used in hospitals (in its related form of aminophylline) to relieve the symptoms of acute asthma. Laboratory trials have shown that the effectiveness of theophylline is related to its concentration in the blood plasma. There is a therapeutic range of concentrations, below which the drug is ineffective and above which symptoms of toxicity appear. But how is the concentration of theophylline in the blood plasma related to the dose given by the doctor? The first mathematical model assumes a simple proportionality relationship between concentration and quantity of drug. But experimental results show that the concentration varies with time, due to the drug being excreted. The mathematical model must take this into account, so a second model is proposed where both the total quantity of drug in the body and its concentration vary with time but are still related by simple proprotionality. The model predicts that the drug concentration will fall exponentially with time, and the doctor can use this model both to specify a suitable initial dose and to decide when a new dose is required. HOU5345 FOUM249N 2483 no