- 1. Power, force, or strength; the condition or quality of being potent. 2. Specifically, sexual p.. 3. In therapeutics, the relative pharmacologic activity of a dose of a compound compared with the dose of a different agent producing the same effects; e.g., aspirin and acetaminophen are of equal p. in alleviating headache (same dose required), but ketarolac exhibits greater p. than ibuprofen, as 20 mg of the former is as effective as 400 mg of the latter. [L. potentia, power]- sexual p. the ability to carry out and consummate sexual intercourse, usually referring to the male.
* * *a) chemical or medicinal strength or efficacy <a drug's \potency>b) the ability to copulate usu. used of the malec) initial inherent capacity for development of a particular kind <cells with a \potency for eye formation>
* * *po·ten·cy (poґtən-se) [L. potentia power] 1. the ability of the male to perform coitus. 2. the relationship between the therapeutic effect of a drug and the dose necessary to achieve that effect; a drug with a higher potency will require a smaller dose to produce a given effect. Clinically, potency has little use except as a means to compare the relative activities of pharmaceutic agents. Cf. efficacy. 3. the ability of an embryonic part to develop and complete its destiny.
Dose-effect curve for two drugs of different potency: Drug A is more potent than drug B.
Medical dictionary. 2011.