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Difference Between Agonist and Antagonist

Agonist vs Antagonist

Agonists and antagonists are known to be key players in human body and in pharmacology. Agonist and antagonist act in opposite directions. When agonist produces an action, antagonist opposes the action.

First of all when talking of muscles, agonist is that works with muscles and antagonist is that works against the muscles. Agonist works when the muscles relax and antagonist works when muscles contract. Agonists can be called as ‘prime movers’ as these very much responsible for producing specific movements.

Agonist is a substance, which combines with the cell receptor to produce some reaction that is typical for that substance. On the other hand, antagonist is a chemical, which opposes or reduces the action.

In medicines, an agonist ties to a receptor site and causes a response whereas an antagonist works against the drug and blocks the response. While agonists stimulate an action, antagonists sit idle, doing nothing.

Agonists are also chemicals or reactions, which help in binding and also altering the function of the activity of receptors. On the other hand, antagonists though help in binding receptors, they do not alter its activity.

When agonist is a compound that impersonate the action of neurotransmitter, antagonist blocks the action of neurotransmitter.

Agonists combine with other chemical substances and promote some action. On the contrary, antagonists after combining with certain chemical substances only interfere with its action.

Agonist has been derived from late Latin word agnista, which means contender. Antagonist has been derived from Latin antagonista and from Greek antagonistes, which means “competitor, rival or opponent.”

Summary

1. Agonist and antagonist act in opposite directions. When agonist produces an action, antagonist opposes the action.

2. Agonist works when the muscles relax and antagonist works when muscles contract.

3. While agonists stimulate an action, antagonists sit idle, doing nothing.

4. An agonist ties to a receptor site and causes a response whereas an antagonist works against the drug and blocks the response.

5. Agonists are also chemicals or reactions, which help in binding and also altering the function of the activity of receptors. On the other hand, antagonists though help in binding receptors, they do not alter its activity.

6. When agonist is a compound that impersonate the action of neurotransmitter, antagonist blocks the action of neurotransmitter.

7. Agonist has been derived from late Latin word agnista, which means contender. Antagonist has been derived from Latin antagonista and from Greek antagonistes, which means “competitor, rival or opponent.”


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2 Comments

  1. I am doing a report on Methadone and its use in the treatment of opioid addiction. As I understand it, the reason why methadone works is that it is a “closed ended” molecule and will not cause a tolerance build up. Heroine is an “Open ended” molecule and this is precisely why it does cause you to develope a tolerance. Actually, I think I may have it backwards, but if anyone knows what info. I’m looking for I would greatly appreciate some help. Thank You, Carol.

    • Really complicated concept!! :) I appreciate you that its use in the treatment of opioid addiction.
      That’s huge not cause a tolerance build up as far as I remember. Keep it up though! :)

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