mechanism of action

(MEH-kuh-nih-zum … AK-shun)
In medicine, a term used to describe how a drug or other substance produces an effect in the body. For example, a drug’s mechanism of action could be how it affects a specific target in a cell, such as an enzyme, or a cell function, such as cell growth. Knowing the mechanism of action of a drug may help provide information about the safety of the drug and how it affects the body. It may also help identify the right dose of a drug and which patients are most likely to respond to treatment. Also called MOA.