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Chapter 1


Absorption The process by which a drug is taken into the body and moves from the site of administration into the blood.
Adverse effects Are undesired, potentially harmful side effects of drugs. They can include nausea and vomiting, drug toxicity, hypersensitivity, and unusual reactions.
Agonist Are drugs that bind to or have an attraction for a receptor and cause a particular response.
Antagonist Drugs that bind to a receptor and prevent a response.
Bioavailability Indicates the degree to which the drug molecule reaches the site of action to exert its effects.
Biotechnology Concepts of genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology.
Biotransformation the chemical composition of a drug is changed by a process called metabolism.
Bolus Drugs that are given all at once.
Contraindication Reasons against giving a particular drug
Distribution The process in which drug molecules eventually diffuse out of the blood-stream to the site of action.
Duration The time between onset and disappearance of drug effects
Emulsion Type of liquid medication form and can be either water in oil or oil in water, depending on the medication’s solubility.
Enteral Indicates that the medication is taken into the gastrointestinal tract, primarily by mouth.
Excretion Medications taken into the body are eliminated in the process
Hypersensitivity An adverse effect resulting from previous exposure to the drug or a similar drug.
Idiosyncratic effect Type of adverse effect that is thought to occur in people with some genetic abnormality, causing either an excessive or an inadequate response to a drug.
Indication The reason or purpose for giving a medication.
Local effect Some topical agents work at the site of application.
Onset The time between administration of a drug and the first appearance of effects
Parenteral Any route other than the digestive tract, the most common of which are subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous.
Pharmacodynamics The study of how drugs exert their effects on the body, at both the molecular and physiological levels.
Pharmacokinetics Focuses on how the body processes drugs.
Plasma protein binding Drug molecules that bind to proteins contained in plasma
Reconstituted Mixed with a liquid
Side effect A predictable but unintended effect of a drug.
Solubility Ability to be dissolved
Solution A mixture of drug particles
Suspension A mixture of drug particles fully dissolved in a liquid medium
Synergist A drug that enhances the effect of another drug
Systemic effect Medications that exert throughout the entire body
Topical Applied to the skin surface or a mucous membrane-lined cavity.
Controlled substances High abuse potential drug
Narcotics Is a controlled substance because they can be addictive and potentially abused
DEA Drug Enforcement Administration
FDA Food and Drug Administration
The Joint Commission The predominant standards-setting organization, and facilities that obtain its accreditation demonstrate their commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
OTC over-the-counter
PDR Physicians’ Desk Reference
USP-NF United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary



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