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Combating drug resistance

Queen’s researcher Troy Day is investigating medication and drug resistance.

High doses of medication may not be the best approach to breaking down drug resistance

A new model developed by Queen’s University researcher Troy Day has shown that the standard practice of treating infections with the highest tolerable dose of anti-microbe medications may not be the best practice for preventing the evolution of drug resistance.

The new research reveals the optimal approach to combating the evolution of drug resistance is either to use the highest dose that is safe or the lowest dose that is effective.

“The model suggests that the best practice will either be to use the highest tolerable dose or the lowest effective dose of a drug,” says Dr. Day (Mathematics, Biology). “It’s should always be one of those two, but you can’t just toss a coin to determine which. Determining the best approach for a given infectious agent will need to be done on a case-by-case basis in clinical trials. By definition, both choices will make the patient better in the short term, but we don’t know ahead of time which course of action will be best for preventing the evolution of resistance.”

Read the full story in the Queen’s Gazette.