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Year : 2013   |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 146-148

The importance of toxicity testing

Toxicity testing is paramount in the screening of newly developed drugs before it can be used on humans. The essence of toxicity testing is not just to check how safe a test substance is; but to characterize the possible toxic effects it can produce. The guiding principles of toxicity testing is to check the effect of the test substances on laboratory animals and its direct toxic effect on human and secondly, the exposure of laboratory animals to high doses in order to evaluate its possible hazard on human that are exposed to much lower dose. The present article seeks to highlight the importance of toxicity testing in the development of therapeutic agents. Toxicity testing is of the following types: acute toxicity studies, sub-acute toxicity studies and chronic toxicity studies. Toxicity testing employed wide range of test in different species of animals with long term administration of drug, regular monitoring of physiological, biochemical abnormalities and detailed post mortem examination at the end of the trial to detect gross or histological abnormalities. Toxic effect of drug can range from negligible to severe as to preclude further development of the compound. The use of animal in toxicity testing is most likely to continue for the foreseeable future because of the benefits they offer in examining a whole functioning organism.
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