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Drug Categories

Drug Categories and Actions for Commonly Prescribed Drugs

Analgesic Relieves mild to severe pain Acetaminophen (Tylenol®); acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin; morphine sulfate (MS Contin®)*; oxycodone HCl (Oxycontin®)
Anesthetic Prevents sensation of pain (generally, locally, or topically) Lidocaine HCl (Xylocaine®, Lidoderm®)*; tetracaine HCl (Pontocaine®)
Antacid / antiulcer Neutralizes stomach acid Calcium carbonate (Tums®); esomeprazole (Nexium®)*; lansoprazole (Prevacid®); pantoprazole sodium (Protonix®)
Anthelmintic Kills, paralyzes, or inhibits the growth of parasitic worms Mebendazole (Vermox®); pyrantel pamoate (Combantrin®, Antiminth®)
Antidysrythmic (antiarrhythmic) Normalizes heartbeat in cases of certain cardiac arrhythmias Disopyramide phosphate (Norpace®); propafenone HCl (Rythmol®); propranolol HCl (Inderal®)
Antiasthmatic Treats or prevents asthma attacks Montelukast (Singulair®)*; fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (Advair Diskus®)*; albuterol (ProAir HFA®)
Antibiotics (antibacterial) Kills bacterial microorganisms or inhibits their growth Amoxicillin (Amoxil®)*; azithromycin (Zithromax®)*; cefprozil (Cefzil®); ciprofloxacin (Cipro®)*; clarithromycin (Biaxin® XL); clindamycin (Cleocin®)
Anticholinergic Blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses Atropine sulfate (Isopto® Atropine); dicyclomine HCl (Bentyl®); ipratropium (Atrovent®)
Anticoagulant Prevents blood from clotting Enoxaparin sodium (Lovenox®); heparin sodium (Hep-Lock®); warfarin sodium (Coumadin®)
Anticonvulsant Relieves or controls seizures (convulsions) Clonazepam (Klonopin®)*; divalproex (Depakote®); phenobarbital sodium (Luminol® Sodium); phenytoin (Dilantin®)
Antidepressant (four types) Relieves depression
Tricyclic Amitriptyline HCl (Elavil); doxepin HCl (Sinequan®)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) Phenelzine sulfate (Nardil®); tranylcypromine sulfate (Parnate®)
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Escitalopram (Lexapro®)*; fluoxetine HCl (Prozac®); paroxetine (Paxil®)*; sertraline HCl (Zoloft®)
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) Venlafaxine HCl (Effexor XR®)*; duloxetine HCl (Cymbalta®)
Antidiabetic Treats diabetes by reducing glucose Metformin (Glucophage®)*; glipizide (Glucotrol®) pioglitazone HCl (Actos®)*; insulin glargine (Lantus®)
Antidiarrheal Relieves diarrhea Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®); kaolin and pectin mixtures (Kaopectate®); loperamide HCl (Imodium®)
Antiemetic * Anti-inflammatory (two types) Reduces inflammation Nonsteroidal (NSAIDs) Naproxen (Aleve)*; colchicine* (Colcrys®); ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®)*; celecoxib (Celebrex®)* Steroids Dexamethasone (Decadron®); methylprednisolo Prevents or relieves nausea and vomiting Prochlorperazine (Compazine®); promethazine (Phenergan®); trimethobenzamide HCl (Tigan®)
Antifungal Kills or inhibits growth of fungi Amphotericin B (Fungizone®); fluconazole (Diflucan®)*; nystatin (Mycostatin®); terbinafine (Lamisil®)Kills or inhibits growth of fungi
Antihistamine Counteracts effects of histamine and relieves allergic symptoms Cetirizine HCl (Zyrtec®); diphenhydramine HCl (Benadryl®); fexofenadine (Allegra®); desloratadine (Clarinex®)
Antihypertensive Reduces blood pressure Amlodipine (Norvasc®); diltiazem HCl (Cartia XL®); quinapril (Prinivil®); metoprolol succinate (Toprol-XL®); valsartan (Diovan®)
Anti-inflammatory (two types) Reduces inflammation
Nonsteroidal (NSAIDs) Naproxen (Aleve)*; colchicine* (Colcrys®); ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®)*; celecoxib (Celebrex®)*
Steroids Dexamethasone (Decadron®); methylprednisolone (Medrol®)*; prednisone (Deltasone™)*; triamcinolone (Kenalog®)
Antilipemic (antilipidemic) Lowers blood lipids such as triglycerides Gemfibrozil (Lopid®); atorvastatin (Lipitor®)*; fenofibrate (TriCor®)*; ezetimibe/simvastatin (Vytorin®)*; ezetimibe (Zetia®)*; rosuvastatin (Crestor®)*
Antineoplastic Prevents or inhibits the growth of cancer Bleomycin sulfate (Blenoxane®); dactinomycin (Cosmegen®); paclitaxel (Taxol®); tamoxifen citrate (Nolvadex®)
Antipsychotic Controls psychotic symptoms Chlorpromazine HCl (Thorazine®); clozapine (Clozaril®); haloperidol (Haldol®); risperidone (Risperdal®)*; thioridazine HCl (Mellaril®)
Antipyretic Reduces fever Acetaminophen (Tylenol®); acetylsalicyclic acid, or aspirin
Antiseptic Inhibits growth of microorganisms Isopropyl alcohol; 70% povidone-iodine (Betadine®); chlorhexidine gluconate (PerioChip®)
Antitussive Inhibits cough reflex Codeine; dextromethorphan hydrobromide (component of Robitussin® DM)
Bronchodilator Dilates bronchi (airways in the lungs) Albuterol (Proventil®)*; epinephrine (Epinephrine Mist); salmeterol (Serevent®); tiotropium bromide (Spiriva®)*
Cathartic (laxative) Induces defecation, alleviates constipation Bisacodyl (Dulcolax®); casanthranol (Peri-Colace®); magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia®)
Contraceptive Reduces risk of pregnancy Ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate (Ortho Tri-Cyclen®); norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol (Loestrin® 24 Fe)* norgestrel (Ovrette®)
Decongestant Relieves nasal swelling and congestion Oxymetazoline HCl (Afrin®); phenylephrine HCl (Neo-Synephrine®); pseudoephedrine HCl (Sudafed®)
Diuretic Increases urine output, reduces blood pressure and cardiac output Bumetanide (Bumex®); furosemide (Lasix®)*; hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL®)*; mannitol (Osmitrol®); spironolactone (Aldactone®)
Expectorant Liquefies mucus in bronchi; allows expectoration of sputum, mucus, and phlegm Guaifenesin (Mucinex®)
Hemostatic Controls or stops bleeding by promoting coagulation Aminocaproic acid (Amicar®); phytonadione or vitamin K1 (Mephyton®); thrombin (Thrombogen)
Hormone replacement Replaces or resolves hormone deficiency Insulin (Humulin®) for pancreatic deficiency; levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid®)* for thyroid deficiency; conjugated estrogens (Premarin Tabs®)*
Hypnotic (sleep-inducing) or sedative Induces sleep or relaxation (depending on drug potency and dosage) Chloral hydrate (Noctec®); secobarbital sodium (Seconal® Sodium); zolpidem (Ambien®)*
Muscle relaxant Relaxes skeletal muscles Carisoprodol (Rela or Soma®); cyclobenzaprine HCl (Flexeril®)*
Mydriatic Constricts vessels of eye or nasal passage, raises blood pressure, dilates pupil of eye in ophthalmic preparations Atropine sulfate (Atropisol) for ophthalmic use; phenylephrine HCl (Alcon Efrin) for ophthalmic use or (Neo-Synephrine®) for nasal use
Stimulant (central nervous system) Increases activity of brain and other organs, decreases appetite Amphetamine sulfate (Benzedrine); caffeine (No-Doz®); also a component of many analgesic formulations and coffee
Vasoconstrictor Constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure Dopamine HCl (Intropin); norepinephrine bitartrate (Levophed®)
Vasodilator Dilates blood vessels, decreases blood pressure Enalopril (Vasotec®); lisinopril (Prinivil®)*; nitroglycerin (Nitrostat®, NitroQuick®)
Created by: atluna



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