Why do some diseases require agonist drugs to be stopped?

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Why do some diseases require agonist drugs to be stopped?

In: Biology

Sometimes diseases happen when there is too much of a bad thing. Then you want an antagonist effect.

Sometimes diseases happen when there isn’t enough of a good thing. Then you want an agonist effect.

Most things are good if you have the right amount, and bad if you have too much or too little.

Involuntary actions in your body (things you can’t control, such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) are essentially controlled by receptors and enzymes, which act as gateways and messengers. A lot of common diseases involve systems we can’t directly control (diabetes, high blood pressure), so we use drugs to control how active/inactive the system is depending on what we need.

The best example for an agonist drug helping a disease is asthma. Asthma happens when the airways are swollen all the time, and close up more often, making it hard to breathe. Inhalers are filled with a drug that targets receptors and stimulates them (beta-2 agonists, specifically), which causes the airways to open up again. An antagonist would encourage the airways to close more, which as you can tell, would be pretty bad.

TL;DR – Some diseases need the receptors to be activated instead of deactivated. Agonists activate and antagonists deactivate. So we need agonists to stop some diseases and antagonists for others.