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Pharmacology

Key Terms/General Information

QuestionAnswer
Mutation - Permanent, inheritable change to DNA
Penicillin-binding protein Enzymes used by bacteria to build bacterial cell walls that are targets for penicillins and related antibiotics.
Plasmid Small piece of circular DNA found in some bacteria that is able to transfer resistance from one bacterium to another.
Red-man syndrome Rash on the upper body caused by certain anti-infectives.
Superinfection New infection caused by an organism different from the one causing the initial infection; usually a side effect of anti-infective therapy.
Tubercles Cavity-like lesion in the lung characteristic of infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Virulence The severity of disease that a pathogen is able to cause.
Azole Term for the major class of drugs used to treat mycoses.
Dermatophytic Relating to a superficial fungal infection.
Dysentery Severe diarrhea that may include bleeding.
Ergosterol Lipid substance in fungal cell membranes.
Erythrocytic stage Phase in malaria during which infected red blood cells rupture, releasing merozoites and causing fever and chills.
Helminth Type of flat, round, or segmented worm.
Malaria Tropical disease characterized by severe fever and chills caused by the protozoan Plasmodium.
Merozoites Transformation of sporozoites carried by the blood to the liver inside the human host where they multiply into millions of progeny.
Mycoses Diseases caused by fungi.
Polyene Antifungal class containing amphotericin B and nystatin.
Protozoa Single-celled organisms that inhabit water, soil, and animal hosts.
Yeast Type of fungus that is unicellular and divides by budding.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) Infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Antiretroviral Drug that is effective against retroviruses.
Capsid Protein coat that surrounds a virus.
CD4 receptor Protein that accepts HIV and allows entry of the virus into the T4 lymphocyte.
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) Drug therapy for HIV infection that includes high doses of multiple medications given concurrently.
HIV-AIDS Acronym for human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome; characterized by profound immunosuppression that leads to opportunistic infections and malignancies not commonly found in patients with functioning immune defenses.
Influenza Common viral infection; often called flu.
Intracellular parasite Infectious microbe that lives inside host cells.
Pegylation Process that attaches polyethylene glycol (PEG) to an interferon to extend its pharmacologic activity.
Protease Viral enzyme that is responsible for the final assembly of the HIV virions.
Reverse transcriptase Viral enzyme that converts RNA to DNA.
Viral load A measurement of HIV RNA levels in the blood which provides an estimate of how rapidly the virus is replicating.
Virion Particle of a virus capable of causing an infection.
Virus Nonliving particle containing nucleic acid that is able to cause disease.
Adjuvant chemotherapy Technique in which antineoplastics are administered after surgery or radiation to effect a cure.
Alkylation Process by which certain chemicals attach to DNA and change its structure and function.
Aromatase inhibitor Hormone inhibitor that blocks the enzyme aromatase, which normally converts adrenal androgen to estradiol.
Camptothecin Class of antineoplastics that inhibit the enzyme topoisomerase.
Cancer/carcinoma Malignant disease characterized by rapidly growing, invasive cells that spread to other regions of the body and eventually kill the host.
Emetic potential Usually applied to antineoplastic agents; degree to which an agent is likely to trigger the vomiting center in the medulla, resulting in nausea and vomiting.
Growth fraction The ratio of the number of replicating cells to resting cells in a tumor.
Metastasis Travel of cancer cells from their original site to a distant tissue.
Mucositis Inflammation of the epithelial lining of the digestive tract.
Nadir Lowest values of erythrocyte, leukocyte, and platelet counts caused by chemotherapy.
Neoplasm Abnormal swelling or mass; same as tumor.
Palliation Form of cancer chemotherapy intended to alleviate symptoms rather than cure the disease.
Taxane Alkaloids isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew and used for antineoplastic activity; current drugs include paclitaxel (Taxol) and docetaxel (Taxotere), but more than 19 others are being investigated.
Topoisomerase I Enzyme that assists in the repair of DNA damage.
Vesicant Agent that can cause serious tissue injury if it escapes from an artery or vein during an infusion or injection (extravasation); many antineoplastics are vesicants.
Vinca alkaloids Chemical obtained from the periwinkle plant that has antineoplastic activity.
Allergen Anything that is recognized as foreign by the body's defense system; also called antigen.
Allergic rhinitis Inflammation of the nasal mucosa due to exposure to allergens.
Antitussives Drugs used to suppress cough.
Expectorant Drug used to increase bronchial secretions.
H1 receptors Site located on smooth muscle cells in the bronchial tree and blood vessels that is stimulated by histamine to produce bronchodilation and vasodilation.
Mucolytic Drugs used to loosen thick mucus.
Rebound congestion Adverse effect of intranasal decongestants; prolonged use causes hypersecretion of mucus and worsening nasal congestion once the drug effects wear off.
Aerosol Suspension of minute liquid droplets or fine solid particles in a gas.
Asthma Chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by airway obstruction.
Bronchospasm Rapid constriction of the airways.
Chronic bronchitis Recurrent disease of the lungs characterized by excess mucus production, inflammation, and coughing.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Generic term used to describe several pulmonary conditions characterized by cough, mucus production, and impaired gas exchange.
Dry powder inhaler (DPI) Device used to convert a solid drug to a fine powder for the purpose of inhalation.
Emphysema Terminal lung disease characterized by permanent dilation of the alveoli.
Leukotrienes Chemical mediator of inflammation stored and released by mast cells; effects are similar to those of histamine.
Metered dose inhaler (MDI) Device used to deliver a precise amount of drug to the respiratory system.
Methylxanthine Chemical derivative of caffeine.
Nebulizer Device used to convert liquid drugs into a fine mist for the purpose of inhalation.
Perfusion Blood flow through a tissue or organ.
Status asthmaticus Severe, prolonged form of asthma unresponsive to drug treatment that may lead to respiratory failure.
Ventilation Process by which air is moved into and out of the lungs.
Antacid Drug that neutralizes stomach acid.
Antiflatulent Agent that reduces gas bubbles in the stomach and intestines, thereby decreasing bloating and discomfort.
Chief cells Cells located in the mucosa of the stomach that secrete pepsinogen, an inactive form of the enzyme pepsin that chemically breaks down proteins.
Esophageal reflux Backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Regurgitation of stomach contents into the esophagus.
H+, K+- ATPase Enzyme responsible for pumping acid onto the mucosal surface of the stomach.
H2-receptor antagonist Drug that inhibits the effects of histamine at its receptors in the GI tract.
Helicobacter pylori Bacterium associated with a large percentage of peptic ulcer disease.
Intrinsic factor Chemical substance secreted by the parietal cells in the stomach that is essential for the absorption of vitamin B12.
Milk-alkali syndrome Syndrome caused by the administration of calcium carbonate antacids with milk or food containing vitamin D; symptoms include headache, urinary frequency, anorexia, nausea, and fatigue.
Mucosa layer Inner lining of the alimentary canal that provides a surface area for the various acids, bases, and enzymes to break down food.
Parietal cells Cells in the stomach mucosa that secretes hydrochloric acid.
Peptic ulcer Erosion of the mucosa in the alimentary canal, most commonly in the stomach and duodenum.
Peristalsis Involuntary wavelike contraction of smooth muscle lining the alimentary canal.
Proton pump inhibitor Drug that inhibits the enzyme H+K+ -ATPase.
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome Disorder of excess acid secretion in the stomach resulting in peptic ulcer disease.
Anorexiant Drug used to suppress appetite.
Antiemetic Drug that prevents vomiting.
Body mass index (BMI) Measurement of obesity determined by dividing body weight (in kilograms) by the square of height (in meters).
Cathartic Substance that causes complete evacuation of the bowel.
Chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) Location in the cerebral cortex which sends sensory signals to the vomiting center.
Constipation Infrequent passage of abnormally hard and dry stools.
Crohn's disease Chronic inflammatory bowel disease affecting the ileum and sometimes the colon.
Diarrhea Abnormal frequency and liquidity of bowel movements.
Emesis Vomiting.
Emetics Drug used to induce vomiting.
Emetogenic potential The capacity of a chemotherapeutic drug to cause vomiting.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Disease characterized by the presence of ulcers in the distal portion of the small intestine (Crohn's disease) or mucosal erosions in the large intestine (ulcerative colitis).
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Inflammatory disease of the small or large intestine characterized by intense abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
Laxative Drug that promotes defecation.
Lipase inhibitors Drugs that block the enzyme that breaks down lipids.
Nausea Uncomfortable wavelike sensation that precedes vomiting.
Steatorrhea The passing of bulky, foul-smelling fatty stools.
Ulcerative colitis Inflammatory bowel disease of the colon.
Beriberi Deficiency of thiamine.
Carotene Class of yellow-red pigments that are precursors to vitamin A.
Enteral nutrition Nutrients supplied orally or by feeding tube.
Ergocalciferol Activated form of vitamin D.
Hypervitaminosis Excess intake of vitamins.
Macromineral (major mineral) Inorganic compound needed by the body in amounts of 100 mg or more daily.
Micromineral (trace mineral) Inorganic compound needed by the body in amounts of 20 mg or less daily.
Parenteral nutrition The administration of high caloric nutrients via a central vein, such as the subclavian vein.
Pellagra Deficiency of niacin.
Pernicious (megaloblastic) anemia Type of anemia usually caused by lack of secretion of intrinsic factor.
Provitamins Inactive chemical that is converted to a vitamin in the body.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) Amount of vitamin or mineral needed each day to avoid a deficiency in a healthy adult.
Scurvy Deficiency of vitamin C.
Tocopherol Generic name for vitamin E.
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) Nutrition provided through a peripheral or central vein.
Undernutrition Lack of adequate nutrition to meet the metabolic demands of the body.
Vitamins Organic compound required by the body in small amounts.
Addison's disease Hyposecretion of glucocorticoids and aldosterone by the adrenal cortex.
Adenohypophysis Anterior portion of the pituitary gland.
Adrenocortical insufficiency Lack of adequate corticosteroid secretion by the adrenal gland.
Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) Hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary that stimulates the release of glucocorticoids by the adrenal cortex.
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) Hormone released by the posterior pituitary gland when blood pressure falls or when the osmotic pressure of the blood increases.
Basal metabolic rate Resting rate of metabolism in the body.
Cushing's syndrome Condition of having an excessive concentration of corticosteroids in the blood; caused by excessive secretion by the adrenal glands or by overdosage with corticosteroid medication.
Diabetes insipidus Disorder marked by excessive urination due to lack of secretion of antidiuretic hormone.
Follicular cells Cells in the thyroid gland that secrete thyroid hormone.
Graves' disease Syndrome caused by hypersecretion of thyroid hormone.
Hormone Chemical secreted by endocrine glands that acts as a chemical messenger to affect homeostasis.
Myxedema Condition caused by insufficient secretion of thyroid hormone.
Neurohypophysis Posterior portion of the pituitary gland.
Parafollicular cells Cells in the thyroid gland that secrete calcitonin.
Releasing hormone Hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that affects secretions in the pituitary gland.
Short stature Height below the fifth percentile for age and gender, or more than two standard deviations below the mean (average) for age and gender.
Somatotropin Another name for growth hormone.
Thyroid storm A rare, life-threatening form of thyrotoxicosis; also called thyroid crisis.
Thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) A plasma protein produced in the liver.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) A type of metabolic acidosis due to an excess of ketone bodies, most often occurring when diabetes mellitus is uncontrolled.
Glucagon Acts to increase blood glucose levels.
Gluconeogenesis The production of "new" glucose from noncarbohydrate molecules.
Hyperglycemic effect Causes blood glucose to rise.
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) Acute complication seen in persons with type 2 diabetes, that is characterized by extreme hyperglycemia, hyperosmolarity with dehydration, the absence of ketoacidosis, and CNS dysfunction
Hypoglycemic effect Causes glucose to leave the blood and serum glucose to fall.
Insulin Acts to decrease blood glucose levels.
Insulin analog Modified human insulin with pharmacokinetic advantages, such as more rapid onset of action or prolonged duration of action.
Insulin resistance Occurs in type 2 diabetes mellitus; although insulin is secreted, insulin receptors in target tissues become insensitive to insulin, binding of insulin to these receptors decreases, less effect is achieved.
Islets of Langerhans Cell clusters in the pancreas responsible for the secretion of insulin and glucagon.
Ketoacids Acidic waste product of lipid metabolism that lowers the pH of the blood.
Somogyi phenomenon Rapid decrease in blood glucose level that stimulates the release of hormones (epinephrine, cortisol, glucagon) resulting in an elevated morning blood glucose.
Type 1 Diabetes mellitus Metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia caused by a lack of secretion of insulin by the pancreas.
Type 2 Diabetes mellitus Chronic metabolic disease caused by insufficient secretion of insulin by the pancreas, and a lack of sensitivity of insulin receptors.
Corpus luteum Ruptured follicle that remains in the ovary after ovulation and secretes progestins.
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding Hemorrhage that occurs at abnormal times or in excessive quantity during the menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis Presence of endometrial tissue in nonuterine locations such as the pelvis and ovaries; a common cause of infertility.
Estrogen Class of steroid sex hormones secreted by the ovary.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland that regulates sperm or egg production.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) Hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that stimulates the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Drug therapy consisting of estrogen and progestin combinations; used to treat symptoms associated with menopause.
Infertility Inability to become pregnant after at least 1 year of frequent, unprotected intercourse.
Leutinizing hormone (LH) Hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that triggers ovulation in the female and stimulates sperm production in the male.
Menopause Period of time during which females stop secreting estrogen and menstrual cycles cease.
Ovulation Release of an egg by the ovary.
Oxytocics Agents that stimulate uterine contractions to promote the induction of labor.
Progesterone Hormone secreted by the corpus luteum and placenta responsible for building up the uterine lining in the second half of the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
Prostaglandin Class of local hormones that promote local inflammation and pain when released by cells in the body.
Tocolytic Drug used to inhibit uterine contractions.
Anabolic steroids Compounds resembling testosterone with hormonal activity commonly abused by athletes.
Androgens Steroid sex hormones that promote the appearance of masculine characteristics.
Azoospermia Complete absence of sperm in an ejaculate.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) Nonmalignant enlargement of the prostate gland.
Corpora cavernosa The major erectile tissues of the penis.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland that regulates sperm or egg production.
Hypogonadism Below-normal secretion of the steroid sex hormones.
Impotence Inability to obtain or sustain an erection; also called erectile dysfunction.
Leutinizing hormone (LH) Hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that triggers ovulation in the female and stimulates sperm production in the male.
Libido Interest in sexual activity.
Oligospermia Presence of less than 20 million sperm in an ejaculate.
Testosterone Primary androgen responsible for maturation of male sex organs and secondary sex characteristics of men; secreted by testes.
Virilization Appearance of masculine secondary sex characteristics.
Acute gouty arthritis Condition in which uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints of the big toes, ankles, wrists, fingers, knees, or elbows, resulting in red, swollen, or inflamed tissue.
Autoantibodies Proteins called rheumatoid factors released by B lymphocytes that tear down the body's own tissue.
Bisphosphonates Class of drugs that block bone resorption by inhibiting osteoclast activity.
Bone deposition Opposite of bone resorption; the process of depositing mineral components into bone.
Bone resorption Process of bone demineralization or the breaking down of bone into mineral components.
Calcifediol Substance formed in the first step of vitamin D formation.
Calcitonin Hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that increases the deposition of calcium in bone.
Calcitriol Substance transformed in the kidneys during the second step of the conversion of vitamin D to its active form.
Cholecalciferol Vitamin D3 formed in the skin by exposure to ultraviolet light.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) Drugs from several classes that modify the progression of rheumatoid arthritis; include hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).
Gout Metabolic disorder characterized by the accumulation of uric acid in the bloodstream or joint cavities.
Hyperuricemia Elevated blood level of uric acid, which causes gout.
Metabolic bone disease (MBD) Refers to a cluster of disorders that have in common defects in the structure of bone.
Osteoarthritis (OA) Disorder characterized by degeneration of joints; particularly the fingers, spine, hips, and knees.
Osteomalacia Rickets in children; caused by vitamin D deficiency; characterized by softening of the bones without alteration of basic bone structure.
Osteoporosis Condition in which bones lose mass and become brittle and susceptible to fracture.
Paget's disease Disorder of bone formation and resorption characterized by weak, enlarged, and deformed bones.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation of multiple joints.
Selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) Drug that produces an action similar to estrogen in body tissues; used for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Acne vulgaris Condition characterized by small inflamed bumps that appear on the surface of the skin.
Comedone Type of acne lesion that develops just beneath the surface of the skin (whitehead) or as a result of a plugged oil gland (blackhead)
Dermatitis Inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by itching and scaling.
Eczema Also called atopic dermatitis; a skin disorder with unexplained symptoms of inflammation, itching, and scaling.
Erythema Redness associated with skin irritation.
Excoriation Scratch that breaks the skin surface and fills with blood or serous fluid to form a crusty scale.
Keratolytic Action that promotes shedding of old skin.
Nits Eggs of the louse parasite.
Pediculicides Medications that kill lice.
Pruritus Itching associated with dry, scaly skin.
Psoralen Drug used along with phototherapy for the treatment of psoriasis and other severe skin disorders.
Psoriasis Chronic disorder characterized by red patches of skin covered with flaky, silver colored scales.
Retinoid Compound resembling vitamin A used in the treatment of severe acne and psoriasis.
Rhinophyma Reddened, bullous, irregular swelling of the nose.
Rosacea Chronic skin disorder characterized by clusters of papules on the face.
Scabicides Drugs that kills scabies mites.
Seborrhea Skin condition characterized by overactivity of oil glands.
Urticaria Hypersensitivity response that is characterized by hives and is often accompanied by pruritus, or itching.
Aqueous humor Fluid that fills the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye.
Closed-angle glaucoma Acute glaucoma that is caused by decreased outflow of aqueous humor from the anterior chamber.
Cycloplegic drugs Drugs that relax or temporarily paralyze ciliary muscles and cause blurred vision.
External otitis Commonly called swimmer's ear, an inflammation of the outer ear.
Glaucoma Condition that is characterized by optic neuropathy with gradual loss of peripheral vision and usually accompanied by increased intraocular pressure.
Mastoiditis Inflammation of the mastoid sinus.
Miosis Constriction of the pupil.
Mydriasis Pupil dilation.
Mydriatic drugs Agent that causes pupil dilation.
Open-angle glaucoma Chronic, simple glaucoma caused by hindered outflow of aqueous humor from the anterior chamber.
Otitis media Inflammation of the middle ear.
Intrinsic factor Chemical substance secreted by the parietal cells in the stomach that is essential for the absorption of vitamin B12.
Pernicious (megaloblastic) anemia Type of anemia usually caused by lack of secretion of intrinsic factor.
Stem cell Cell that resides in the bone marrow and is capable of maturing into any type of blood cell.
Thrombopoietin Hormone produced by the kidneys that controls megakaryocyte activity.
Transferrin Protein complex that transports iron to sites in the body where it is needed.
Anaphylactic shock Type of shock caused by an acute allergic reaction.
Cardiogenic shock Type of shock caused by a diseased heart that cannot maintain circulation to the tissues.
Colloid Type of IV fluid consisting of large organic molecules that are unable to cross membranes.
Crystalloid Type of IV fluid resembling blood plasma minus proteins that is capable of crossing membranes.
Hypovolemic shock Type of shock caused by loss of fluids such as occurs during hemorrhage, extensive burns, or severe vomiting or diarrhea.
Inotropic agent Drug or chemical that changes the force of contraction of the heart.
Neurogenic shock Type of shock resulting from brain or spinal cord injury.
Septic shock Type of shock caused by severe infection in the bloodstream.
Shock Condition in which there is inadequate blood flow to meet the body's metabolic needs.
Carbonic anhydrase Enzyme that forms carbonic acid by combining carbon dioxide and water.
Diuretic Substance that increases urine output.
Filtrate Fluid in the nephron that is filtered at Bowman's capsule.
Nephron Structural and functional unit of the kidney.
Reabsorption Movement of filtered substances from the kidney tubule back into the blood.
Renal failure Condition characterized by a decrease in the kidneys' ability to maintain electrolyte and fluid balance and excrete waste products.
Secretion In the kidney, movement of substances from the blood into the tubule after filtration has occurred.
Urinalysis Diagnostic test that examines urine for the presence of blood cells, proteins, pH, specific gravity, ketones, glucose, and microorganisms.
Acidosis Condition of having too much acid in the blood; plasma pH below 7.35.
Alkalosis Condition of having too many basic substances in the blood; plasma pH above 7.45.
Anion Negatively charged ion.
Buffer Chemical that helps maintain normal body pH by neutralizing strong acids or bases.
Cation Positively charged ion.
Colloids Type of IV fluid consisting of large organic molecules that are unable to cross membranes.
Crystalloids Type of IV fluid resembling blood plasma minus proteins that is capable of crossing membranes.
Electrolytes Charged substances in the blood such as sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and phosphate.
Extracellular fluid (ECF) compartment Body fluid lying outside cells, which includes plasma and interstitial fluid.
Hyperkalemia Serum potassium level above 5 mEq/L.
Hypernatremia High sodium level in the blood.
Hypokalemia Serum potassium level below 3.5 mEq/L.
Hyponatremia Low sodium level in the blood.
Intracellular fluid (ICF) compartment Body fluid that is inside cells; accounts for about two thirds of the total body water.
Osmolality Number of dissolved particles, or solutes, in 1 kg (1 L) of water.
Osmosis Process by which water moves from areas of low solute concentration (low osmolality) to areas of high solute concentration (high osmolality).
pH Measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
Tonicity The ability of a solution to cause a change in water movement across a membrane due to osmotic forces.
Active immunity Resistance resulting from a previous exposure to an antigen.
Antibodies Protein produced by the body in response to an antigen; used interchangeably with the term immunoglobulin.
Antigens Microbes and foreign substances that elicit an immune response.
B cell Lymphocyte responsible for humoral immunity.
Biologic response modifiers Natural cytokines that boost specific functions of the immune system.
Calcineurin Intracellular messenger molecule to which immunosuppressants bind.
Cytokine Chemicals produced by white blood cells, such as interleukins, leukotrienes, interferon, and tumor necrosis factor, that guide the immune response.
Humoral immune response A specific body defense mechanism involving the production and release of antibodies.
Immune response Specific reaction of the body to foreign agents involving B and/or T lymphocytes.
Immunomodulator General term that refers to drugs that affect body defenses.
Immunosuppressant Any drug, chemical, or physical agent that lowers the immune defense mechanisms of the body.
Interferon Type of cytokine secreted by T cells in response to antigens to protect uninfected cells.
Interleukin Class of cytokines synthesized by lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, and certain other cells that enhance the capabilities of the immune system.
Nonspecific defense system Defense such as inflammation that protects the body from invasion by general hazards.
Passive immunity Immune defense that lasts 2 to 3 weeks; obtained by administering antibodies.
Plasma cell Cell derived from B lymphocytes that produces antibodies.
T cell Type of lymphocyte that is essential for the cell-mediated immune response.
Titer Measurement of the amount of a substance in the blood.
Toxoid Substance that has been chemically modified to remove its harmful nature but is still able to elicit an immune response in the body.
Transplant rejection Recognition by the immune system of a transplanted tissue as foreign and subsequent attack on the tissue.
Vaccination/ immunization Inoculation with a vaccine or toxoid to prevent disease.
Vaccine Biologic material that confers protection against infection; preparation of microorganism particles that is injected into a patient to stimulate the immune system,with the intention of preventing disease.
Anaphylaxis Acute allergic response to an antigen that results in severe hypotension and may lead to life-threatening shock if untreated.
Antipyretic Drug that lowers body temperature.
Cushing's syndrome Condition of having an excessive concentration of corticosteroids in the blood; caused by excessive secretion by the adrenal glands or by overdosage with corticosteroid medication.
Cyclooxygenase Key enzyme in the prostaglandin metabolic pathway that is blocked by aspirin and other NSAIDs.
Histamine Chemical released by mast cells in response to an antigen that causes dilation of blood vessels, bronchoconstriction, tissue swelling, and itching.
Inflammation Nonspecific body defense that occurs in response to an injury or antigen.
Mast cell Connective tissue cell located in tissue spaces that releases histamine following injury.
Prostaglandins Class of local hormones that promote local inflammation and pain when released by cells in the body.
Salicylate Aspirin belongs to this chemical family.
Salicylism Poisoning due to aspirin and aspirin-like drugs.
Acquired resistance The capacity of a microbe to no longer be affected by a drug following anti-infective pharmacotherapy.
Aerobic Pertaining to an oxygen environment.
Anaerobic Pertaining to an environment without oxygen.
Anti-infective General term for any medication that is effective against pathogens.
Antibiotic Substance produced by a microorganism that inhibits or kills other microorganisms.
Bacteriocidal Substance that kills bacteria.
Bacteriostatic Substance that inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Beta-lactam ring Chemical structure found in most penicillins and some cephalosporins.
Beta-lactamase/penicillinase Enzyme present in certain bacteria that is able to inactivate many penicillins and some cephalosporins.
Broad-spectrum antibiotic Anti-infective that is effective against many different gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.
Culture and sensitivity (C&S) testing Laboratory exam used to identify bacteria and to determine which antibiotic is most effective.
Gram-negative bacteria Bacteria that do not retain a purple stain because they have an outer envelope.
Gram-positive bacteria Bacteria that stain purple because they have no outer envelope.
Host flora Normal microorganisms found in or on a patient.
Invasiveness The ability of a pathogen to grow extremely rapidly and cause direct damage to surrounding tissues by their sheer numbers.
Atonic seizure Very-short-lasting seizure during which the patient may stumble and fall for no apparent reason.
Convulsion Uncontrolled muscle contraction or spasm that occurs in the face, torso, arms, or legs.
Eclampsia Pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorder.
Epilepsy Disorder of the CNS characterized by seizures and/or convulsions.
Febrile seizure Tonic-clonic motor activity lasting 1 to 2 minutes with rapid return of consciousness that occurs in conjunction with elevated body temperature.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) Neurotransmitter in the CNS.
Generalized seizures Seizures that travel throughout the entire brain.
Myoclonic seizure Seizure characterized by brief, sudden contractions of a group of muscles.
Partial (focal) seizure Seizure that starts on one side of the brain and travels a short distance before stopping.
Seizure Symptom of epilepsy characterized by abnormal neuronal discharges within the brain.
Status epilepticus Condition characterized by repeated seizures or one prolonged seizure attack that continues for at least 30 minutes.
Tonic-clonic seizure Seizure characterized by intense jerking motions and loss of consciousness.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Disorder typically diagnosed in childhood and adolescence characterized by hyperactivity as well as attention, organization, and behavior control issues.
Bipolar disorder Syndrome characterized by extreme and opposite moods, such as euphoria and depression.
Depression Disorder characterized by depressed mood, lack of energy, sleep disturbances, abnormal eating patterns, and feelings of despair, guilt, and misery.
Dysthymic disorder Less severe type of mood disorder that may prevent a person from feeling well or functioning normally.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) Treatment used for serious and life-threatening mood disorders in patients who are unresponsive to pharmacotherapy.
Major depressive disorder A depressed mood lasting for a minimum of 2 weeks that is present for most of the day, every day, or almost every day.
Mania Condition characterized by an expressive, impulsive, excitable, and overreactive nature.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) Drug inhibiting monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that terminates the actions of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and serotonin.
Mood disorder Change in behavior such as clinical depression, emotional swings, or manic depression.
Mood stabilizer Drug that levels mood that is used to treat bipolar disorder and mania.
Postpartum depression Occurring after childbirth.
Psychotic depression Expression of intensely negative mood shifts and unusual behaviors involving hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech patterns, or loss of contact with reality.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) Type of depression experienced during the dark winter months.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Drug that selectively inhibits the reuptake of serotonin into nerve terminals; used mostly for depression.
Serotonin syndrome (SES) Set of signs and symptoms associated with overmedication with antidepressants that includes altered mental status, fever, sweating, and lack of muscular coordination.
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) Specifically inhibit the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine and elevate mood by increasing the levels of these agents in the central nervous system.
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) Class of drugs used in the pharmacotherapy of depression.
Tyramine Form of the amino acid tyrosine that is found in foods such as cheese, beer, wine, and yeast products.
Akathisia Inability to remain still; constantly moving.
Delusions False ideas and beliefs not founded in reality.
Dopamine type 2 (D2) receptor Receptor for dopamine in the basal nuclei of the brain that is associated with schizophrenia and antipsychotic drugs.
Dystonia Severe muscle spasms, particularly of the back, neck, tongue, and face; characterized by abnormal tension starting in one area of the body and progressing to other areas.
Extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) Symptoms of acute dystonia, akathisia, parkinsonism, and tardive dyskinesia often caused by antipsychotic drugs.
Hallucinations Seeing, hearing, or feeling something that is not real.
Illusions Distorted perception of actual sensory stimuli.
Negative symptoms In schizophrenia, symptoms that subtract from normal behavior, including a lack of interest, motivation, responsiveness, or pleasure in daily activities.
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) Potentially fatal condition caused by certain antipsychotic medications characterized by an extremely high body temperature, drowsiness, changing blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and muscle rigidity.
Neuroleptics Drug used to treat "nervous-type" conditions like psychoses.
Paranoia Having an extreme suspicion and delusion that one is being followed and that others are trying to inflict harm.
Parkinsonism Having tremor, muscle rigidity, stooped posture, and a shuffling gait.
Positive symptoms In schizophrenia, symptoms that add to normal behavior, including hallucinations, delusions, and a disorganized thought or speech pattern.
Schizoaffective disorder Psychosis with symptoms of both schizophrenia and mood disorders.
Schizophrenia Psychosis characterized by abnormal thoughts and thought processes, withdrawal from other people and the outside environment, and apparent preoccupation with one's own mental state.
Tardive dyskinesia Unusual tongue and face movements such as lip smacking and wormlike motions of the tongue that occur during pharmacotherapy with certain antipsychotics.
A-delta fibers Nerves that transmit sensations of sharp pain.
Analgesic Drug used to reduce or eliminate pain.
Aura Sensory cue such as bright lights, smells, or tastes that precedes a migraine.
C fibers Nerves that transmit dull, poorly localized pain.
Cyclooxygenase Key enzyme in the prostaglandin metabolic pathway that is blocked by aspirin and other NSAIDs.
Endogenous opioids Chemicals produced naturally within the body that decrease or eliminate pain; they closely resemble the actions of morphine.
Kappa receptor Type of opioid receptor.
Methadone maintenance Treatment of opioid dependence by using methadone.
Migraine Severe headache preceded by auras that may include nausea and vomiting.
Mu receptor Type of opioid receptor.
Narcotic Natural or synthetic drug related to morphine; may be used as a broader legal term referring to hallucinogens, CNS stimulants, marijuana, and other illegal drugs.
Neuropathic pain Caused by injury to nerves and typically described as burning, shooting, or numb pain.
Nociceptive pain Pain produced by injury to body tissue.
Nociceptor Receptor connected with nerves that receive and transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain.
Opiate Substance closely related to morphine extracted from the poppy plant.
Opioid Substance obtained from the unripe seeds of the poppy plant; natural or synthetic morphine-like substance.
Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) Use of an infusion pump to deliver a prescribed amount of pain relief medication over a designated time.
Substance P Neurotransmitter within the spinal cord involved in the neural transmission of pain.
Tension headache Common type of head pain caused by stress and relieved by nonnarcotic analgesics.
Amide Type of chemical linkage found in some local anesthetics involving carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (-NH-CO-).
Balanced anesthesia Use of multiple medications to rapidly induce unconsciousness, cause muscle relaxation, and maintain deep anesthesia.
Ester Type of chemical linkage found in some local anesthetics involving carbon and oxygen (-CO-O-).
General anesthesia Medical procedure that produces unconsciousness and loss of sensation throughout the entire body.
Local anesthesia Loss of sensation to a limited part of the body without loss of consciousness.
Neuroleptanalgesia Type of general anesthesia that combines fentanyl with droperidol to produce a state in which patients are conscious though insensitive to pain and unconnected with surroundings.
Neuromuscular blocker Drug used to cause total muscle relaxation.
Surgical anesthesia Stage 3 of anesthesia, in which most major surgery occurs.
Acetylcholinesterase (AchE) Enzyme that degrades acetylcholine within the synaptic cleft, enhancing effects of the neurotransmitter.
Alzheimer's disease Most common dementia, characterized by loss of memory, delusions, hallucinations, confusion, and loss of judgment.
Amyloid plaques Abnormal protein fragments related to neuronal damage; a sign of Alzheimer's disease observed during autopsy.
Bradykinesia Difficulty initiating movement and controlling fine muscle movements.
Corpus striatum Area of the brain responsible for unconscious muscle movement; a point of contact for neurons projecting from the substantia nigra.
Dementia Degenerative disorder characterized by progressive memory loss, confusion, and the inability to think or communicate effectively.
Hippocampus Region of the brain responsible for learning and memory; a part of the limbic system.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) Autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system; a condition where antibodies slowly destroy tissues in the brain and spinal cord.
Neurofibrillary tangles Bundles of nerve fibers found in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease on autopsy.
Parkinsonism Having tremor, muscle rigidity, stooped posture, and a shuffling gait.
Primary-progressive MS One of the four recognized forms of Multiple Sclerosis named for gradual advance of the disease from onset and with no superimposed relapses (new or resurfacing symptoms) and remissions (periods of recovery).
Progressive-relapsing MS One of the four recognized forms of Multiple Sclerosis named for gradual advance of the disease; there is significant recovery immediately following a relapse, but there is a gradual worsening of symptoms.
Relapse-remitting MS One of the four recognized forms of Multiple Sclerosis named whenever new symptoms appear or when they resurface or worsen (relapse); the patient then partially or fully recovers from the acquired deficits (remitting).
Secondary-progressive MS One of the four recognized forms of Multiple Sclerosis named for gradual advance of the disease; superimposed relapses (new or resurfacing symptoms) and remissions (periods of recovery) may occur, but they tend to tail off over time.
Substantia nigra Location in the brain where dopamine is synthesized that is responsible for regulation of unconscious muscle movement.
Clonic spasm Multiple, rapidly repeated muscular contractions.
Dystonia Severe muscle spasms, particularly of the back, neck, tongue, and face; characterized by abnormal tension starting in one area of the body and progressing to other areas.
Muscle spasm Involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles, which become tightened, develop a fixed pattern of resistance, and result in a diminished level of functioning.
Neuromuscular blocker Drug used to cause total muscle relaxation.
Spasticity Inability of opposing muscle groups to move in a coordinated manner.
Tonic spasm Single, prolonged muscular contraction.
Apoprotein Protein component of a lipoprotein.
Atherosclerosis Condition characterized by a buildup of fatty plaque and loss of elasticity of the walls of the arteries.
Bile acid resin Drug that binds bile acids, thus lowering cholesterol.
Dyslipidemia Abnormal (excess or deficient) level of lipoproteins in the blood.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) Lipid-carrying particle in the blood that contains high amounts of protein and lower amounts of cholesterol; considered to be "good" cholesterol.
HMG-CoA reductase Primary enzyme in the biochemical pathway for the synthesis of cholesterol.
Hypercholesterolemia High levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Hyperlipidemia Excess amount of lipids in the blood.
Lecithin Phospholipid that is an important component of cell membranes.
Lipoprotein Substance carrying lipids in the bloodstream that is composed of proteins bound to fat.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) Lipid-carrying particle that contains relatively low amounts of protein and high amounts of cholesterol; considered to be "bad" cholesterol.
Phospholipid Type of lipid that contains two fatty acids, a phosphate group, and a chemical backbone of glycerol.
Reverse cholesterol transport The process by which cholesterol is transported away from body tissues to the liver.
Rhabdomyolysis Breakdown of muscle fibers usually due to muscle trauma or ischemia.
Steroid Type of lipid consisting of four rings that is a structural component of certain hormones and drugs.
Sterol nucleus Ring structure common to all steroids.
Triglyceride Type of lipid that contains three fatty acids and a chemical backbone of glycerol.
Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) Lipid-carrying particle that is converted to LDL in the liver.
Aldosterone Hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that increases sodium reabsorption in the distal tubule of the kidney.
Angiotensin II Chemical released in response to falling blood pressure that causes vasoconstriction and release of aldosterone.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) Enzyme responsible for converting angiotensin I to angiotensin II.
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) Hormone released by the posterior pituitary gland when blood pressure falls or when the osmotic pressure of the blood increases.
Baroreceptors Nerves located in the walls of the atria, aortic arch, vena cava, and carotid sinus that sense changes in blood pressure.
Calcium channel blocker Drug that blocks the flow of calcium ions into myocardial cells.
Cardiac output Amount of blood pumped by a ventricle in 1 minute.
Chemoreceptors Nerves located in the aortic arch and carotid sinus that sense changes in oxygen content, pH, or carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
Diuretic Substance that increases urine output.
Hypertension (HTN) High blood pressure.
Peripheral resistance Amount of friction encountered by blood as it travels through the vessels.
Reflex tachycardia Temporary increase in heart rate that occurs when blood pressure falls.
Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system Series of enzymatic steps by which the body raises blood pressure.
Secondary hypertension Hypertension having a specific identifiable cause.
Stroke volume Amount of blood pumped out by a ventricle in a single beat.
Vasomotor center Area of the medulla that controls baseline blood pressure.
Afterload Pressure that must be overcome for the ventricles to eject blood from the heart.
Cardiac output Amount of blood pumped by a ventricle in 1 minute.
Cardiac remodeling Change in the size, shape, and structure of the myocardial cells (myocytes) that occurs over time in heart failure.
Contractility The strength with which the myocardial fibers contract.
Frank-Starling law The greater the degree of stretch on the myocardial fibers, the greater will be the force by which they contract.
Heart failure (HF) Disease in which the heart muscle cannot contract with sufficient force to meet the body's metabolic needs.
Inotropic effect Change in the strength or contractility of the heart.
Peripheral edema Swelling in the limbs, particularly the feet and ankles, due to an accumulation of interstitial fluid.
Phosphodiesterase Enzyme in muscle cells that cleaves phosphodiester bonds; its inhibition increases myocardial contractility.
Preload Degree of stretch of the cardiac muscle fibers just before they contract.
Angina pectoris Acute chest pain on physical or emotional exertion due to inadequate oxygen supply to the myocardium.
Atherosclerosis Condition characterized by a buildup of fatty plaque and loss of elasticity of the walls of the arteries.
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery Surgical procedure performed to restore blood flow to the myocardium by using a section of the saphenous vein or internal mammary artery to go around the obstructed coronary artery.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) One of the leading causes of mortality in the United States. The primary defining characteristic is narrowing or occlusion of a coronary artery.
Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Enzyme that binds fibrinogen and von Willebrand's factor to begin platelet aggregation and blood coagulation.
Myocardial infarction Blood clot blocking a portion of a coronary artery that causes necrosis of cardiac muscle.
Myocardial ischemia Lack of blood supply to the myocardium due to a constriction or obstruction of a blood vessel.
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) Procedure by which a balloon-shaped catheter is used to compress fatty plaque against an arterial wall for the purpose of restoring normal blood flow.
Plaque Fatty material that builds up in the lining of blood vessels and may lead to hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction, or angina.
Silent angina Myocardial ischemia that occurs in the absence of pain.
Stable angina Type of angina that occurs in a predictable pattern, usually relieved by rest.
Unstable angina Severe angina that occurs frequently and that is not relieved by rest.
Vasospastic (Prinzmetal's) angina Type of angina in which the decreased myocardial blood flow is caused by spasms of the coronary arteries.
Action potential Electrical changes in the membrane of a muscle or nerve cell due to changes in membrane permeability.
Atrioventricular (AV) node Cardiac tissue that receives electrical impulses from the sinoatrial node and conveys them to the ventricles.
Atrioventricular bundle Cardiac tissue that receives electrical impulses from the AV node and sends them to the bundle branches; also known as the bundle of His.
Automaticity Ability of certain myocardial cells to spontaneously generate an action potential.
Bundle branches Electrical conduction pathway in the heart leading from the AV bundle and through the wall between the ventricles.
Calcium ion channel Pathway in a plasma membrane through which calcium ions enter and leave.
Cardioversion/defibrillation Conversion of fibrillation to a normal heart rhythm.
Depolarization Reversal of the plasma membrane charge such that the inside is made less negative.
Dysrhythmia Abnormality in cardiac rhythm.
Ectopic focus/pacemaker Cardiac tissue outside the normal cardiac conduction pathway that generates action potentials.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) Device that records the electrical activity of the heart.
Fibrillation Type of dysrhythmia in which the chambers beat in a highly disorganized manner.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) A device placed in patients to restore normal cardiac rhythm by either pacing the heart or giving it an electric shock when dysrhythmias occur.
Polarized Condition in which the inside of a cell is more negatively charged than the outside of the cell.
Potassium ion channel Pathway in a plasma membrane through which potassium ions enter and leave.
Purkinje fibers Electrical conduction pathway leading from the bundle branches to all portions of the ventricles.
Refractory period Time during which the myocardial cells rest and are not able to contract.
Sinoatrial (SA) node Pacemaker of the heart located in the wall of the right atrium that controls the basic heart rate.
Sinus rhythm Number of beats per minute normally generated by the SA node.
Sodium ion channel Pathway in a plasma membrane through which sodium ions enter and leave.
Anticoagulant Agent that inhibits the formation of blood clots.
Antithrombin III Protein that prevents abnormal clotting by inhibiting thrombin.
Clotting factors Substances contributing to the process of blood hemostasis.
Coagulation Process of blood clotting.
Coagulation cascade Complex series of steps by which blood flow stops.
Embolus Blood clot carried in the bloodstream.
Fibrin An insoluble protein formed from fibrinogen by the action of thrombin in the blood clotting process.
Fibrinogen Blood protein that is converted to fibrin by the action of thrombin in the blood coagulation process.
Fibrinolysis Removal of a blood clot.
Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Enzyme that binds fibrinogen and von Willebrand's factor to begin platelet aggregation and blood coagulation.
Hemophilia Hereditary lack of a specific blood clotting factor.
Hemostasis The slowing or stopping of blood flow.
Hemostatic Drug used to inhibit the normal removal of fibrin, used to speed clot formation, and keep the clot in place for a longer period.
Intermittent claudication Condition caused by insufficient blood flow to skeletal muscles in the lower limbs, resulting in ischemia of skeletal muscles and severe pain on walking, especially in calf muscles.
Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) Drugs closely resembling heparin that inhibit blood clotting.
Plasmin Enzyme formed from plasminogen that dissolves blood clots.
Plasminogen Protein that prevents fibrin clot formation; precursor of plasmin.
Prothrombin Blood protein that is converted to thrombin in blood coagulation.
Prothrombin activator Enzyme in the coagulation cascade that converts prothrombin to thrombin; also called prothrombinase.
Thrombin Enzyme that causes clotting by catalyzing the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin.
Thrombocytopenia Reduction in the number of circulating platelets.
Thromboembolic disorder Condition in which the patient develops blood clots.
Thrombolytic Drug used to dissolve existing blood clots.
Thrombus Blood clot obstructing a vessel.
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) Natural enzyme and a drug that dissolves blood clots.
Von Willebrand's disease Decrease in quantity or quality of von Willebrand factor (vWF), which acts as a carrier of factor VIII and has a role in platelet aggregation.
Anemia Lack of adequate numbers of red blood cells, or decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
Colony-stimulating factor (CSF) Hormones that regulate the growth and maturation of specific WBC populations.
Erythropoietin Hormone secreted by the kidney that regulates the process of red blood cell formation, or erythropoiesis.
Ferritin One of two protein complexes that maintain iron stores inside cells (hemosiderin is the other).
Folic acid/folate B vitamin that is a coenzyme in protein and nucleic acid metabolism.
Hematopoiesis Process of erythrocyte production that begins with primitive stem cells that reside in bone marrow.
Hemosiderin One of two protein complexes that maintain iron stores inside cells (ferritin is the other).
Biologics Substances that produce biologic responses within the body; they are synthesized by cells of the human body, animal cells, or microorganisms.
Clinical investigation Second stage of drug testing that involves clinical phase trials.
Clinical phase trials Testing of a new drug in selected patients.
Complementary and alternative therapies Treatments considered outside the realm of conventional Western medicine.
Drug General term for any substance capable of producing biologic responses in the body.
FDA's Critical Path Initiative National strategy for transforming the way FDA-regulated products are developed, evaluated, manufactured, and used.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) U.S. agency responsible for the evaluation and approval of new drugs.
Formulary List of drugs and drug recipes commonly used by pharmacists.
Investigational New Drug Application (IND) Application to the FDA that contains all the animal and cell testing data.
Medication Drug after it has been administered.
NDA review Third stage of new drug evaluation by the FDA.
Pharmacology The study of medicines; the discipline pertaining to how drugs improve or maintain health.
Pharmacopoeia Medical reference indicating standards of drug purity, strength, and directions for synthesis.
Pharmacotherapy Treatment or prevention of disease by means of drugs.
Postmarketing surveillance Evaluation of a new drug after it has been approved and used in large numbers of patients.
Preclinical investigation Procedure implemented after a drug has been licensed for public use, designed to provide information on use and on occurrence of side effects.
Therapeutics The branch of medicine concerned with the treatment of disease and suffering.
Bioavailability Ability of a drug to reach the bloodstream and its target tissues.
Chemical name Strict chemical nomenclature used for naming drugs established by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
Combination drug Drug product with more than one active generic ingredient.
Controlled substance In the United States, a drug whose use is restricted by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act; in Canada, a drug subject to guidelines outlined in the Canadian Narcotic Control Act.
Dependence Strong physiological or psychological need for a substance.
Generic name Nonproprietary name of a drug assigned by the government.
Mechanism of action The way in which a drug exerts its effects.
Pharmacologic classification Method for organizing drugs on the basis of their mechanism of action.
Prototype drug Well-understood model drug with which other drugs in a pharmacologic class may be compared.
Scheduled drugs In the United States, a term describing a drug placed into one of five categories based on its potential for misuse or abuse.
Therapeutic classification Method for organizing drugs on the basis of their clinical usefulness.
Trade name Proprietary name of a drug assigned by the manufacturer; also called the brand name or product name.
Withdrawal Physical signs of discomfort associated with the discontinuation of an abused substance.
Allergic reaction Acquired hyperresponse of body defenses to a foreign substance (allergen).
Anaphylaxis Acute allergic response to an antigen that results in severe hypotension and may lead to life-threatening shock if untreated.
Apothecary system Older system of measurement that uses drams; rarely used.
ASAP order As soon as possible order that should be available for administration to the patient within 30 minutes of the written order.
Astringent effect Drops or spray used to shrink swollen mucous membranes, or to loosen secretions and facilitate drainage.
Buccal route Administration of a tablet or capsule by placing it in the oral cavity between the gum and the cheek.
Compliance Taking a medication in the manner prescribed by the health care provider, or, in the case of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, following the instructions on the label.
Enteral route Administration of drugs orally, and through nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes.
Enteric coated Referring to tablets that have a hard, waxy coating designed to dissolve in the alkaline environment of the small intestine.
Five rights of drug administration Principles that offer simple and practical guidance for nurses to use during drug preparation, delivery, and administration.
Household system Older system of measurement that uses teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups.
Intradermal (ID) Medication administered into the dermis layer of the skin.
Intramuscular (IM) Delivery of medication into specific muscles.
Intravenous (IV) Administration of medications and fluids directly into the bloodstream.
Metric system of measurement Most common system of drug measurement that uses grams and liters.
Parenteral route Dispensation of medications via a needle into the skin layers.
PRN order Medication is administered as required by the patient's condition.
Routine orders Order not written as STAT, ASAP, NOW, or PRN.
Single order Medication that is to be given only once, and at a specific time, such as a preoperative order.
Standing order Order written in advance of a situation that is to be carried out under specific circumstances.
STAT order Any medication that is needed immediately and is to be given only once.
Subcutaneous Medication delivered beneath the skin.
Sublingual route Administration of medication by placing it under the tongue and allowing it to dissolve slowly.
Sustained release Tablets or capsules designed to dissolve slowly over an extended time.
Three checks of drug administration In conjunction with the five rights, these ascertain patient safety and drug effectiveness.
Absorption The process of moving a drug across body membranes.
Affinity Chemical attraction that impels certain molecules to unite with others to form complexes.
Blood-brain barrier Anatomical structure that prevents certain substances from gaining access to the brain.
Conjugates Side chains that, during metabolism, make drugs more water soluble and more easily excreted by the kidney.
Distribution The process of transporting drugs through the body.
Drug-protein complex Drug that has bound reversibly to a plasma protein, particularly albumin, that makes the drug unavailable for distribution to body tissues.
Enterohepatic recirculation Recycling of drugs and other substances by the circulation of bile through the intestine and liver.
Enzyme induction Process in which a drug changes the function of the hepatic microsomal enzymes and increases metabolic activity in the liver.
Excretion The process of removing substances from the body.
Fetal-placental barrier Special anatomical structure that inhibits entry of many chemicals and drugs to the fetus.
First-pass effect Mechanism whereby drugs are absorbed across the intestinal wall and enter into the hepatic portal circulation.
Hepatic microsomal enzyme system As it relates to pharmacotherapy, liver enzymes that inactivate drugs and accelerate their excretion; sometimes called the P-450 system.
Loading dose Comparatively large dose given at the beginning of treatment to rapidly obtain the therapeutic effect of a drug.
Maintenance dose Dose that keeps the plasma drug concentration continuously in the therapeutic range.
Metabolism Total of all biochemical reactions in the body.
Minimum effective concentration Amount of drug required to produce a therapeutic effect.
Pharmacokinetics Study of how drugs are handled by the body.
Plasma half-life (t 1/2) The length of time required for the plasma concentration of a drug to decrease by half after administration.
Prodrug Drug that becomes more active after it is metabolized.
Therapeutic range The dosage range or serum concentration that achieves the desired drug effects.
Toxic concentration Level of drug that will result in serious adverse effects.
Agonist Drug that is capable of binding with receptors to induce a cellular response.
Antagonist Drug that blocks the response of another drug.
Efficacy The ability of a drug to produce a desired response.
Frequency distribution curve Graphical representation that illustrates interpatient variability in responses to drugs.
Graded dose-response Relationship between and measurement of the patient's response obtained at different doses of a drug.
Idiosyncratic response Unpredictable and unexplained drug reaction.
Median effective dose (ED 50) Dose required to produce a specific therapeutic response in 50% of a group of patients.
Median lethal dose (LD 50) Often determined in preclinical trials, the dose of drug that will be lethal in 50% of a group of animals.
Median toxicity dose (TD 50) Dose that will produce a given toxicity in 50% of a group of patients.
Nonspecific cellular response Drug action that is independent of cellular receptors and is not associated with other mechanisms, such as changing the permeability of cellular membranes, depressing membrane excitability, or altering the activity of cellular pumps.
Partial agonist Medication that produces a weaker, or less efficacious, response than an agonist.
Pharmacodynamics Study of how the body responds to drugs.
Pharmacogenetics Area of pharmacology that examines the role of genetics in drug response.
Potency The strength of a drug at a specified concentration or dose.
Receptor The structural component of a cell to which a drug binds in a dose-related manner, to produce a response.
Second messenger Cascade of biochemical events that initiates a drug's action by either stimulating or inhibiting a normal activity of the cell.
Therapeutic index The ratio of a drug's LD 50 to its ED 50.
Assessment phase Appraisal of a patient's condition that involves gathering and interpreting data.
Baseline data Patient information that is gathered before pharmacotherapy is implemented.
Evaluation phase Objective assessment of the effectiveness and impact of interventions.
Goal Any object or objective that the patient or nurse seeks to attain or achieve.
Implementation phase When the nurse applies the knowledge, skills, and principles of nursing care to help move the patient toward the desired goal and optimal wellness.
Nursing diagnosis Clinically based judgment about the patient and his or her response to health and illness.
Nursing process Five-part decision-making system that includes assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Objective data Information gathered through physical assessment, laboratory tests, and other diagnostic sources.
Outcome Objective measurement of goals.
Planning phase Linkage of strategies or interventions to established goals and outcomes.
Subjective data Information gathered regarding what a patient states or perceives.
Adolescence Period from 13 to 16 years of age.
Embryonic period Period of life from 3 to 8 weeks postconception.
Fetal period Period of life from 9 to 40 weeks postconception.
Infancy Child younger than 1 year.
Middle adulthood Person from 40 to 65 years of age.
Older adulthood Person older than age 65.
Polypharmacy The taking of multiple drugs concurrently.
Preimplantation period Period of life from 1 to 2 weeks postconception.
Preschool child Child from 3 to 5 years of age.
School-age child Child from 6 to 12 years of age.
Teratogen Drug or other agent that causes developmental birth defects.
Toddlerhood Term applied to children from 1 to 3 years of age.
Young adulthood Term applied to persons from 18 to 40 years of age.
Cultural competence The ability of health care providers to provide care for people with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors, including the ability to adapt delivery of care to meet the needs of these patients.
Culture Set of beliefs, values, religious rituals, and customs shared by a group of people.
Ethnicity Referring to people having a common history and similar genetic heritage.
Genetic polymorphism Changes in enzyme structure and function due to mutation of the encoding gene.
Holistic Viewing a person as an integrated biologic, psychosocial, cultural, communicating whole, existing and functioning within the communal environment.
Human integration pyramid A conceptual framework for dealing with patients in a holistic manner.
Pharmacogenetics Area of pharmacology that examines the role of genetics in drug response.
Psychosocial Describes a person's psychological development in the context of one's social environment.
Spirituality The capacity to love, to convey compassion and empathy, to give and forgive, to enjoy life, and to find peace of mind and fulfillment in living.
Medication administration record (MAR) Documentation of all pharmacotherapies received by the patient.
Medication error Any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care provider, patient, or consumer.
Medication error index Categorization of medication errors according to the extent of the harm an error can cause.
Medication reconciliation The process of keeping track of a patient's medications as they proceed from one health care provider to another.
Polypharmacy The taking of multiple drugs concurrently.
Risk management System of reducing medication errors by modifying policies and procedures within the institution.
Botanical Plant extract used to treat or prevent illness.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) Treatments that consider the health of the whole person and promote disease prevention.
Dietary supplement Nondrug substance regulated by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).
Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act Law that requires companies that market herbal and dietary supplements to include their address and phone number on the product labels so consumers can report adverse events.
Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) Primary law in the United States regulating herb and dietary supplements.
Herb Plant with a soft stem that is used for healing or as a seasoning.
Specialty supplement Nonherbal dietary product used to enhance a wide variety of body functions.
Addiction The continued use of a substance despite its negative health and social consequences.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Disorder typically diagnosed in childhood and adolescence characterized by hyperactivity as well as attention, organization, and behavior control issues.
Benzodiazepines Major class of drugs used to treat anxiety disorders.
Cross-tolerance Situation in which tolerance to one drug makes the patient tolerant to another drug.
Delirium tremens (DT) A syndrome of intense agitation, confusion, terrifying hallucinations, uncontrollable tremors, panic attacks, and paranoia caused by alcohol withdrawal.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) The active chemical ingredient in marijuana responsible for its psychoactive properties.
Designer drugs Substance produced in a laboratory and intended to mimic the effects of another psychoactive controlled substance.
Opioid Substance obtained from the unripe seeds of the poppy plant; natural or synthetic morphine-like substance.
Physical dependence Condition of experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when a substance is discontinued.
Psychedelics Substance that alters perception and reality.
Psychologic dependence Intense craving for a drug that drives people to continue drug abuse.
Reticular formation Portion of the brain affecting awareness and wakefulness.
Sedative Substance that depresses the CNS to cause drowsiness or sleep.
Substance abuse Self-administration of a drug that does not conform to the medical or social norms within the patient's given culture or society.
Tolerance Process of adapting to a drug over a period of time and subsequently requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect.
Withdrawal syndrome Symptoms that result when a patient discontinues taking a substance on which he or she was dependent.
Activated charcoal Short-term treatment (within 60 minutes) after a patient has ingested a threatening amount of carbon-based poison; molecules adhere to activated charcoal and minimize or prevent poisons from absorption.
Acute radiation syndrome Life-threatening symptoms resulting from acute exposure to ionizing radiation, including nausea, vomiting, severe leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, and alopecia.
Anthrax Microorganism that can cause severe disease and high mortality in humans.
Basic supportive care One of the 1st elements of toxicity treatment; maintaining patient's airway, breathing, circulation; proper blood glucose levels stable; maintaining proper arterial blood gases; treatment of developing seizures; mngmnt of acid-base disturbances.
Bioterrorism Intentional use of infectious biologic agents, chemical substances, or radiation to cause widespread harm or illness.
Gastric lavage and aspiration Course of treatment (within 60 min) after patient has ingested a potentially life-threatening amount of poison; performed by washing out stomach with sterile water or saltwater solution followed by removal of fluid or mixed substances.
Ionizing radiation Radiation that is highly penetrating and can cause serious biologic effects.
Nerve agents Chemical used in warfare or by bioterrorists that can affect the central nervous system and cause death.
Specific antidotes Direct remedies to counter the effects of poisons or toxins in various cases including heavy metals, radioactive agents, and overdosing of pharmacologic substances.
Strategic National Stockpile (SNS Program designed to ensure the immediate deployment of essential medical materials to a community in the event of a large-scale chemical or biologic attack.
Syrup of Ipecac Remedy primarily used to induce vomiting following ingestion of poisonous substances; ipecac irritates the gastric mucosa and promotes emesis by stimulating the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) within the brainstem.
Vaccine Biologic material that confers protection against infection; preparation of microorganism particles that is injected into a patient to stimulate the immune system, with the intention of preventing disease.
Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Supplies and pharmaceuticals that are shipped after a chemical or biologic threat has been identified.
Whole-bowel irrigation Act of mechanically flushing the ingested poison from the gastrointestinal tract after the patient has ingested potentially toxic doses of lead, zinc, or illicit drugs; this technique may be used for overdosed sustained-release or enteric-coated drugs.
Acetylcholine (Ach) Primary neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system; also present at somatic neuromuscular junctions and at sympathetic preganglionic nerves.
Acetylcholinesterase (AchE) Enzyme that degrades acetylcholine within the synaptic cleft, enhancing effects of the neurotransmitter.
Adrenergic Relating to nerves that release norepinephrine or epinephrine.
Adrenergic antagonist Drug that blocks the actions of the sympathetic nervous system.
Alpha receptor Type of subreceptor found in the sympathetic nervous system.
Anticholinergic Drug that blocks the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Autonomic nervous system Portion of the peripheral nervous system that governs involuntary actions of the smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glands.
Beta receptor Type of subreceptor found in the sympathetic nervous system.
Catecholamines Class of agents secreted in response to stress that include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
Central nervous system (CNS) Division of the nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord.
Cholinergic Relating to nerves that release acetylcholine.
Fight-or-flight response Characteristic set of signs and symptoms produced when the sympathetic nervous system is activated.
Ganglionic synapse The juncture between two multipolar neurons located outside of the central nervous system (CNS), where axon terminals from the first neuron make contact with cell bodies and extensions of the second neuron.
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) Enzyme that destroys norepinephrine in the nerve terminal.
Muscarinic Type of cholinergic receptor found in smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and glands.
Myasthenia gravis Motor disorder caused by a destruction of nicotinic receptors on skeletal muscles and characterized by profound muscular fatigue.
Nicotinic Type of cholinergic receptor found in ganglia of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Norepinephrine (NE) Primary neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system.
Parasympathetic nervous system Portion of the autonomic nervous system that is active during periods of rest and that results in the rest-or-relaxation response.
Parasympathomimetic Drug that mimics the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Peripheral nervous system Division of the nervous system containing all nervous tissue outside the CNS, including the autonomic nervous system.
Postganglionic neuron Autonomic nerve after the ganglionic synapse transmitting impulses to the target tissue.
Preganglionic neuron Autonomic nerve before the ganglionic synapse carrying impulses from the spinal cord.
Rest-and-digest response Signs and symptoms produced when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated.
Somatic nervous system Nerve division that provides voluntary control over skeletal muscle.
Sympathetic nervous system Portion of the autonomic system that is active during periods of stress and results in the fight-or-flight response.
Sympatholytics A drug that blocks the actions of the sympathetic nervous system.
Sympathomimetic Drug that stimulates or mimics the sympathetic nervous system.
Synapse Junction between two neurons consisting of a presynaptic nerve, a synaptic cleft, and a postsynaptic nerve.
Synaptic transmission Process by which a neurotransmitter reaches receptors to regenerate the action potential.
Antidepressants Drug that alters levels of two important neurotransmitters in the brain, norepinephrine and serotonin, to reduce depression and anxiety.
Anxiety State of apprehension and autonomic nervous system activation resulting from exposure to a nonspecific or unknown cause.
Anxiolytics Drugs that relieve anxiety.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) Diagnostic test that records brainwaves through electrodes attached to the scalp.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) Difficult-to-control, excessive anxiety that lasts 6 months or more, focuses on a variety of life events, and interferes with normal day-to-day functions.
Hypnotic Drug that causes sleep.
Insomnia Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Limbic system Area in the brain responsible for emotion, learning, memory, motivation, and mood.
Long-term insomnia Inability to sleep for more than a few nights, often caused by depression, manic disorders, and chronic pain.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) Recurrent, intrusive thoughts or repetitive behaviors that interfere with normal activities or relationships.
Panic disorder Anxiety disorder characterized by intense feelings of immediate apprehension, fearfulness, terror, or impending doom, accompanied by increased autonomic nervous system activity.
Phobias Fearful feeling attached to situations or objects such as snakes, spiders, crowds, or heights.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Type of anxiety that develops in response to reexperiencing a previous life event that was psychologically traumatic.
Rebound insomnia Increased sleeplessness that occurs when long-term antianxiety or hypnotic medication is discontinued.
REM sleep Stage of sleep characterized by quick, scanning movements of the eyes.
Reticular activating system (RAS) Responsible for sleeping and wakefulness and performs an alerting function for the cerebral cortex; includes the reticular formation, hypothalamus, and part of the thalamus.
Reticular formation Portion of the brain affecting awareness and wakefulness.
Sedative Substance that depresses the CNS to cause drowsiness or sleep
Sedative-hypnotic Drug with the ability to produce a calming effect at lower doses and to induce sleep at higher doses.
Short-term or behavioral insomnia Inability to sleep that is often attributed to stress caused by a hectic lifestyle or the inability to resolve day-to-day conflicts within the home or workplace.
Situational anxiety Anxiety experienced by people faced with a stressful environment.
Sleep debt Lack of sleep.
Social anxiety Fear of crowds.
Tranquilizer Older term sometimes used to describe a drug that produces a calm or tranquil feeling.
Absence seizure Seizure with a loss or reduction of normal activity, including staring and transient loss of responsiveness.
Bile is circulated back to the liver by ___ recirculation enterohepatic
Pharmacodynamics is how a drug ___ the body changes
Compare drug potency with drug efficacy a drug that is more potent will produce a therapeutic effect at a lower dose; efficacy refers to the maximal response that can be produced from a drug
Name 3 examples of agents that bind to intracellular components (NOT plasma membranes) steroids, vitamins, hormones
A drug that produces the SAME type of response as the endogenous substance is called an agonist (partial agonists produce weaker responses)
Preventing an endogenous chemical from reacting is the job of an antagonist
Unexplained, unpredictable drug reactions are called ___ responses idiosyncratic
Substance, physical agent or organism that produces permanent abnormality in function, structure, growth to a fetus; may cause retardation or death teratogen
Created by: BrandiLynn
 

 



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