Medication(s): substances that affect the structure or functioning of a living organism. (OxfordMed) A legal drug that is used to prevent, treat, or relieve symptoms of a disease or abnormal condition. (NCIt)

"Drugs" intended for human… use, presented in their finished dosage form. Essential drugs are drugs considered essential to meet the health needs of a population. A ‘medication system’ is an organizational concept in patient care for providing medication. ‘Self medication’ is the self administration of medication not prescribed by a physician or in a manner not directed by a physician. (MeSH) Also referred to as ‘drugs’ or ‘therapeutic drugs.”


Analgesics: compounds capable of relieving pain without the loss of "consciousness." (MeSH) Drugs that reduce pain. These drugs include aspirin, ‘acetaminophen,’ and ‘ibuprofen.’ Analgesics act by various mechanisms including binding with “opioid” “receptors” and decreasing “inflammation.” Choice of analgesic may be determined by the type of pain. (NCIt)

Antabus: a drug, that when taken while drinking “alcohol,” causes intense vomiting, nausea, and gastrointestinal distress. Used in “aversion therapy” to extinguish drinking behaviors. (Bamford, 11/1/10) Used as part of a treatment plan for problem drinking. Creates an unpleasant reaction when drinking alcohol, which reduces the desire to drink. This medicine is part of a recovery program that includes medical supervision and counseling. (PubMedHealth1)

Anti-Allergic Drugs: used to treat “allergic reactions.” Most of these drugs act by preventing the release of inflammatory ‘mediators’ or inhibiting the actions of released mediators on their target cells. (MeSH) Also referred to as ‘anti-allergic agents.’

Antianxiety Agent: a drug used to treat symptoms of "anxiety," such as feelings of "fear," dread, uneasiness, and muscle tightness, that may occur as a reaction to "stress." Most 'anxiolytic' agents block the action of certain chemicals in the “nervous system.” (NCIt)

Antibiotic: a substance, produced by or derived from a “microorganism,” that destroys or inhibits the growth of other microorganisms. Used to treat “infections” caused by organisms that are sensitive to them. (OxfordMed) Substances naturally produced by microorganisms or their derivatives that selectively target microorganisms not humans. (NCIt) Many antibiotics work by disrupting functions of bacterial "ribosomes." (Venter, 39) A substance produced by one type of microorganism which kills or stops the growth of another. Antibiotics used in medicine are often altered chemically to make them more effective. 'Penicillin' prevents cell wall formation. Since human cells do not have cell walls, it has no effect on them. 'Streptomycin' inhibits "protein synthesis." (Indge, 18-19)  (Antibiotics) fight "bacterial infections," but they do not treat “viral infections” such as colds and the “flu.” If you have a viral infection, antibiotics will not make you better. Antibiotics can destroy normal (healthy) bacteria that live in the body. This can result in symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vaginal yeast infections. The overuse of antibiotics has played a role in the rise in drug-resistant bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics also poses a risk of allergic reaction. (PubMedHealth2)

Antisepsis: the destruction of germs causing "disease." (MeSH) The elimination of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that cause disease by the use of chemical or physical methods. (OxfordMed)

Antiseptic: a chemical that destroys or inhibits the growth of disease-causing bacteria and other microorganisms an is sufficiently nontoxic to be applied to the skin or “mucous membranes” to cleanse wounds and prevent infections. (OxfordMed) Substances used on humans and other animals that destroy harmful microorganisms or inhibit their activity. They are distinguished from ‘disinfectants,’ which are used on inanimate objects. (MeSH) Members of the surgical team routinely use antiseptic solutions as either scrubs or hand rubs with the aim of reducing the chance of the patient developing an infection following surgery. (PubMedHealth2)

Belladonna: a pupil-dilating substance that was used as a cosmetic. (Kahneman, 32) A plant. The leaf and root are used to make medicine. The name 'belladonna' means 'beautiful lady,' and was chosen because of a risky practice in Italy. The belladonna berry juice was used historically in Italy to enlarge the pupils of women, giving them a striking appearance. This was not a good idea, because belladonna can be poisonous. Though widely regarded as unsafe, belladonna is used as a sedative, to stop “bronchial” spasms in “asthma” and ‘whooping cough,’ and as a cold and ‘hay fever’ remedy. It is also used for "Parkinson's disease," colic, motion sickness, and as a painkiller. (MedlinePlus)

Beta Blocker: a drug that quiets (the) “sympathetic nervous system.” It can banish the butterflies from (the) stomach, still quivering limbs, turn off drenching stage-fright sweats, and allow (one) to speak or perform calmly in public. Its effectiveness shows that fear is more in your body than in your mind. (Blakeslee, 191) Blocks “epinephrine” “receptors” in the brain and the body and thus prevents epinephrine from elevating “blood pressure,” “heart rate,” and breathing during times of stress or anxiety. Often used for heart patients to reduce blood pressure, beta-blockers break the anxiety “feedback loop” to the brain that otherwise keeps the “amygdala” on alert. They’re also useful for people with social anxiety or stage fright. Classical musicians sometimes take beta-blockers before performances because it prevents them from sweating and tensing up, which can interfere with their ability to play. Exercise impacts the same pathways as beta-blockers. (Ratey, 98)

Immunosuppressant: suppresses, by radiation and by certain drugs, the ability to mount an "immune response." (Lawrence) An agent that decreases the body’s “immune response.” It reduces the body’s ability to fight infections and other diseases, such as “cancer.” Immunosuppressants may be used to keep a person from rejecting a “bone marrow” or “organ” transplant. They are also used in the treatment of conditions marked by over-active “immune responses,” such as “auto-immune disease” and “allergies.” (NCI1) Inhibits production of the “antibodies” and “T cells” that attack transplanted tissue. (Lewis, 342)

Methlyphenidate: a combination of drugs used as a treatment for "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder"(ADHD) and “narcolepsy” a sleep disorder. It is a type of stimulant. (NCIt) Combination medication used to treat ADHD as part of a total treatment plan, including psychological, social, and other treatments. It may help to increase the ability to pay attention, concentrate, and stay focused... A combination of stimulants.  Thought to work by restoring the balance of “neurotransmitters” in the brain. (WebMD) Belongs to the group of medicines called ‘central nervous system stimulants.’ Works in the treatment of ADHD by increasing attention and decreasing restlessness in children and adults who are overactive, cannot concentrate for very long, or are easily distracted and impulsive. (PubMedHealth1) Also referred to as ‘ritalin’ and ‘adderall.’

Psychotropic Medications: prescription drugs that alter mental functions and alleviate psychological symptoms. (Hockenbury, 575) Also referred to as ‘psychotropic drugs.’

Lithium: used to treat and prevent episodes of “mania” or “depression” in people with “bipolar disorder.” (OxfordMed) Lithium salts are used to treat certain mental disorders, especially bipolar (formerly known as 'manic depressive') disorder. (NCIt) Used on a daily basis to reduce the frequency and severity of manic episodes. Manic-depressive patients experience severe mood changes, ranging from an excited or manic state (e.g., unusual anger or irritability or a false sense of well-being) to depression or sadness. It is not known how lithium works to stabilize a person's mood. However, it does act on the central nervous system. (PubMedHealth1)

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): drugs used to treat depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors slow the process by which “serotonin” (a "neurotransmitter), is reused by nerve cells that make it. This increases the amount of serotonin available for stimulating other nerves. (NCIt) Typically used as "antidepressants." They alter serotonin availability. However, instead of altering the availability only at mood-crucial “receptors,” they alter serotonin availability everywhere. This results in side effects on sexual function and makes some people dizzy, sleepless, or “fatigued.” They also ignore “genetic variation” among people, so don’t work for all patients. (SAM, Oct/Nov 2007, 36)