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Chapter 08, MedTerms


anaphylaxis An extreme allergic reaction that can lead to respiratory distress, circulatory collapse, and death
antagonist A substance that interferes with or opposes the action of a drug
brand name The trade or proprietary name of a drug, a registered trademark of the manufacturer; written with an initial capital letter
contraindication A factor that makes the use of a drug undesirable or dangerous
drug A substance that alters body function
efficacy The power to produce a specific result; effectiveness
generic name The nonproprietary name of a drug; that is, a name that is not privately owned or trademarked; usually a simplified version of the chemical name; not capitalized
phytomedicine Another name for herbal medicine (root phyt/o meaning "plant")
potentiation Increased potency created by two drugs acting together
prescription (Rx) Written and signed order for a drug with directions for its administration
side effect A result of drug therapy or other therapy that is unrelated to or an extension of its intended effect; usually applies to an undesirable effect of treatment
substance dependence A condition that may result from chronic use of a drug, in which a person has a chronic or compulsive need fora drug regardless of its adverse effects; dependence may be psychologic or physical
synergy Combined action of two or more drugs working together to produce an effect greater than any of the drugs could produce when acting alone; also called synergism; adjective: synergistic
tolerance A condition in which chronic use of a drug results in loss of effectiveness and the dose must be increased to produce the original response
withdrawal A condition that results from abrupt cessation or reduction of a drug that has been used regularly
-lytic (adjective of lysis) dissolving, reducing, loosening
-mimetic mimicking, simulating
-tropic acting on
anti- against
contra- against, opposite, opposed
counter- against, opposed
alg/o, algi/o, algesi/o pain
chem/o chemical
hypn/o sleep
narc/o stupor
pharm, pharmac/o drug, medicine
pyr/o, pyret/o fever
tox/o, toxic/o poison, toxin
vas/o vessel
APAP Acetaminophen
ASA Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)
ASHP American Society of Health System Pharmacists
cap Capsule
elix Elixir
FDA Food and Drug Administration
INH Isoniazid (antituberculosis drug)
MED(s) Medicine(s), medication(s)
NSAID(s) Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug(s)
ODS Office of Dietary Supplements
OTC Over-the-counter
PDR Physicians' Desk Reference
Rx Prescription
supp Suppository
susp Suspension
tab Tablet
tinct Tincture
ung Ointment
USP United States Pharmacopeia
Before (Latin, ante)
a̅a̅ Of each (Greek, ana)
ac Before meals (Latin, ante cibum)
ad lib As desired (Latin, ad libitum)
aq Water (Latin, aqua)
bid, b.i.d. Twice a day (Latin, bis in die)
With (Latin, cum)
DAW Dispense as written
D/C, dc Discontinue
DS Double strength
hs At bedtime (Latin, hora somni)
ID Intradermal(ly)
IM Intramuscular(ly)
IU International unit
IV Intravenous(ly)
LA Long-acting
mcg Microgram
mg Milligram
mL Milliliter
p After, post
pc After meals (Latin, post cibum)
po, PO By mouth (Latin, per os)
pp Postprandial (after a meal)
prn As needed (Latin, pro re nata)
qam Every morning (Latin, quaque ante meridiem)
qh Every hour (Latin, quaque hora)
q_h Every _ hours
qid, q.i.d. Four times a day (Latin, quater in die)
"s" with a line over it Without (Latin, sine)
SA Sustained action
SC, SQ, subcut Subcutaneous(ly)
SL Sublingual(ly)
SR Sustained release
"ss" with a line over it Half (Latin, semis)
tid, t.i.d. Three times per day (Latin, ter in die)
U Unit(s)
x Times
adrenergics Mimic the action of the sympathetic nervous system, which responds to stress; used to treat bronchospasms, allergic reactions, hypotension
analgesics Alleviate pain
narcotics Decrease pain sensation in central nervous system; chronic use may lead to physical dependence
nonnarcotics Act peripherally to inhibit prostaglandins (local hormones); they may also be antiinflammatory and antipyretic (reduce fever); Cox-2 inhibitors limit an enzyme that causes inflammation without affecting a related enzyme that protects the stomach lining
anesthetics Reduce or eliminate sensation (esthesi/o)
anticoagulants Prevent coagulation and formation of blood clots
anticonvulsants Suppress or reduce the number and/or intensity of seizures
antidiabetics Prevent or alleviate diabetes
antiemetics Relieve symptoms of nausea and prevent vomiting (emesis)
antihistamines Prevent responses mediated by histamine: allergic and inflammatory reactions
antihypertensives Lower blood pressure by reducing cardiac output dilating vessels, or promoting excretion of water by the kidneys. ACE inhibitors block production of a substance that raises blood pressure; ARBs interfere with the action of that substance.
antiinflammatory drugs Counteract inflammation and swelling
corticosteroids Hormones from the cortex of the adrenal gland; used for allergy, respiratory and blood diseases, injury, and malignancy; suppress the immune system
nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) Reduce inflammation and pain by interfering with synthesis of prostaglandins; also antipyretic
antiinfective agents Kill or prevent the growth of infectious organisms
antibacterials Effective against bacteria
antifungals Effective against fungi
antiparasitics Effective against parasites—protozoa, worms
antivirals Effective against viruses
antineoplastics Destroy cancer cells; they are toxic for all cells but have greater effect on cells that are actively growing and dividing; hormones and hormone inhibitors also are used to slow tumor growth
cardiac drugs Act on the heart
antiarrhythmics Correct or prevent abnormalities of heart rhythm
beta-adrenergic blockers (beta-blockers) Inhibit sympathetic nervous system; reduce rate and force of heart contractions
calcium-channel blockers Dilate coronary arteries, slow heart rate, reduce contractions
hypolipidemics Lower cholesterol in patients with high serum levels that cannot be controlled with diet alone; hypocholesterolemics, statins
nitrates; antianginal agents Dilate coronary arteries and reduce heart's workload by lowering blood pressure and reducing venous return
CNS stimulants Stimulate the central nervous system
diuretics Promote excretion of water, sodium, and other electrolytes by the kidneys; used to reduce edema and blood pressure; loop diuretics act on the kidney tubules
gastrointestinal drugs Act on the digestive tract
antidiarrheals Treat or prevent diarrhea by reducing intestinal motility or absorbing irritants and soothing the intestinal lining
histamine H2 antagonists Decrease stomach acid secretion by interfering with the action of histamine at H2 receptors; used to treat ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems
laxatives Promote elimination from the large intestine; types include: stimulants, hyperosmotics (retain water), stool softeners, bulk-forming agents
proton pump inhibitors Reduce stomach acidity by blocking transport of hydrogen ions (protons) into the stomach
muscle relaxants Depress nervous system stimulation of skeletal muscles; used to control muscle spasms and pain
psychotropics Affect the mind, altering mental activity, mental state, or behavior
antianxiety agents Reduce or dispel anxiety; tranquilizers; anxiolytic agents
antidepressants Relieve depression by raising brain levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals active in the nervous system)
antipsychotics Act on nervous system to relieve symptoms of psychoses
respiratory drugs Act on the respiratory system
antitussives Suppress coughing
asthma maintenance drugs; bronchodilators Used for prevention of asthma attacks and chronic treatment of asthma; prevent or eliminate spasm of the bronchi (breathing tubes) by relaxing bronchial smooth muscle; used to treat asthma attacks and bronchitis
expectorants Induce productive coughing to eliminate respiratory secretions
mucolytics Loosen mucus to promote its elimination
sedatives/hypnotics Induce relaxation and sleep; lower (sedative) doses promote relaxation leading to sleep; higher (hypnotic) dose induce sleep; antianxiety agents also used
aloe part used: leaf; treatment for burns and minor skin irritations
black cohosh part used: root; reduction of menopausal hot flashes
chamomile part used: flower; antiinflammatory, gastrointestinal antispasmodic, sedative
echinacea parts used: all; may reduce severity and duration of colds, may stimulate the immune system, used topically for wound healing
evening primrose oil part used: seed; source of essential fatty acids important for the health of the cardiovascular system; treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders
flax part used: seed; source of fatty acids important in maintaining proper lipids (e.g., cholesterol) in the blood
ginger part used: root; relief of nausea and motion sickness, treatment of colds and sore throat
ginkgo part used: leaf; improves blood circulation in and function of the brain, improves memory, used to treat dementia, antianxiety agent, protects the nervous system
ginseng part used: root; stress reduction, lowers blood cholesterol and blood sugar
green tea part used: leaf; antioxidant, acts against cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and skin, oral antimicrobial agent, reduces dental caries
kava part used: root; antianxiety agent, sedative
milk thistle parts used: seeds; protects the liver against toxins, antioxidant
saw palmetto parts used: berries; used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
slippery elm part used: bark; as lozenge for throat irritation, for gastrointestinal irritation and upset, protects irritated skin
soy part used: bean; rich source of nutrients; protective estrogenic effects in menopausal symptoms; osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer prevention
St. John's wort part used: flower; treatment of anxiety and depression, has antibacterial and antiviral properties (note: this product can interact with a variety of drugs)
tea tree oil part used: leaf; antimicrobial; used to heal cuts, skin infections, burns
valerian part used: root; sedative, sleep aid
absorption drug taken into the circulation through the digestive tract or by transfer across another membrane
inhalation administration through the respiratory system, as by breathing in an aerosol or nebulizer spray
instillation liquid is dropped or poured slowly into a body cavity or on the surface of the body, such as into the ear or onto the conjuctiva of the eye
oral given by mouth; per os (po)
rectal administered by rectal suppository or enema
sublingual (SL) administered under the tongue
topical applied to the surface of the skin
transdermal absorbed through the skin, as from a patch placed on the surface of the skin
injection administered by a needle and syringe; described as parenteral routes of administration
epidural injected into the space between the meninges (membranes around the spinal cord) and the spine
hypodermoclysis administration of a solution by subcutaneous infusion; useful for fluid delivery as an alternative for intravenous infusion
intradermal (ID) injected into the skin
intramuscular (IM) injected into a muscle
intravenous (IV) injected into a vein
spinal (intrathecal) injected through the meninges into the spinal fluid
subcutaneous (SC) injected beneath the skin; hypodermic
aerosol solution dispersed as a mist to be inhaled
aqueous solution substance dissolved in water
elixir (elix) a clear, pleasantly flavored and sweetened hydroalcoholic liquid intended for oral use
emulsion a mixture in which one liquid is dispersed but not dissolved in another liquid
lotion solution prepared for topical use
suspension (susp) fine particles dispersed in a liquid, must be shaken before use
tincture (tinct) substance dissolved in an alcoholic solution
cream a semisolid emulsion used topically
ointment (ung) drug in a base that keeps it in contact with the skin
capsule (cap) material in a gelatin container that dissolves easily in the stomach
lozenge a pleasant-tasting medicated tablet or disk to be dissolved in the mouth, such as a cough drop
suppository (supp) substance mixed and molded with a base that melts easily when inserted into a body opening
tablet (tab) a solid dosage form containing a drug in a pure state or mixed with a nonactive ingredient and prepared by compression or molding, also called a pill
ampule a small sealed glass or plastic container used for sterile intravenous solutions
bolus a concentrated amount of a diagnostic or therapeutic substance given rapidly intravenously
catheter a thin tube that can be passed into a body cavity, organ, or vessel
syringe an instrument for injecting fluid
vial a small glass or plastic container
Created by: SeedyVampire
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