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chemical used to diagnose, treat, or prevent disease.


the study of drugs and their interactions with the body.


test that determines the amount and purity of a given chemical in a preparation in the laboratory.


relative therapeutic effectiveness of chemically equivalent drugs.


test to ascertain a drug's availability in a biological model.

dose packaging

medication packages contain a single dose for a single patient.

teratogenic drug

medication that may deform or kill the fetus.

free drug availability

preparation of a drug available in the body to cause either desired or undesired effects.


how a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized (biotransformed), and excreted; how drugs are transported into and out of the body.


how a drug interacts with the body to cause it effects.

active transport

requires the use of energy to move a substance.

carrier-mediated diffusion or facilitated diffusion

process in which carrier proteins transport large molecules across the cell membrane.

passive transport

movement of a substance without the use of energy.


movement of solute in a solution from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration


movement of solvent in a solution from an area of lower solute concentration to an area of higher solute concentration.


movement of molecules across a membrane from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure.


to beome electrically charged or polar.


amount of a drug that is still active after it reaches its target tissue.

blood-brain barrier

tight junctions of the capillary endothelial cells in the central nervous system vasculature through which only non-protein-bound, highly lipid-soluble drugs can pass.

placental barrier

biochemical barrier at the maternal/fetal interface that restricts certain molecules.


the body's breaking down chemicals into different chemicals.


special name given to the metabolism of drugs.

prodrug (parent drug)

medication that is not active when administered, but whose biotransformation converts it into active metabolites.

first-pass effect

the liver's partial or complete inactivation of a drug before it reaches the systemic circulation.


the loss of hydrogen atoms or the acceptance of an oxygen atom. This increases the positive charge (or lessens the negative charge) on the molecule.


the breakage of a chemical bond by adding water, or by incorporating a hydroxyl (OH-) group into one fragment and a hydrogen ion (H+) into the other.

parenteral route

delivery of a medication outside of the gastrointestinal tract, typically using needles to inject medications into the circulatory system or tissues.

enteral route

delivery of a medication through the gastrointestinal tract.


specialized protein that combines with a drug resulting in a biochemical effect.


force of attraction between a drug and a receptor.


a drug's ability to cause the expected response.

second messenger

chemical that participates in complex cascading reactions that eventually cause a drug's desired effect.


binding of a drug or hormone to a target cell receptor that causes the number of receptors to decrease.


a drug causes the formation of more receptors than normal.


drug that binds to a receptor and causes it to initiate the expected response.


drug that binds to a receptor but does not cause it to intitiate the expected response.

agonist-antagost (partial agonist)

drug that binds to a receptor and stimulates some of its effects but blocks others.

competitive antagonism

one drug binds to a receptor and causes the expected effect while also blocking another drug from triggering the same receptor.

noncompetitive antagonism

the binding of an antagonist causes a deformity of the binding site that prevents an agonist from fitting and binding.

irreversible antagonism

a competitive antagonist permanently binds witha receptor site.

side effect

unintended response to a drug.

drug-response relationship

correlation of different amounts of a drug to clinical response.

plasma-level profile

describes the lengths of onset, duration, and termination of action, as well as the drug's minimum effective concentration and toxic levels.

onset of action

the time from adminstration until a medication reaches its minimum effective concentration.

minimum effective concentration

minimum level of drug needed to cause a given effect.

duration of action

length of time the amount of drug remains above its minimum effective concentration.

termination of action

time from when the drug's level drops below its minimum effective concentration until it is eliminated from the body.

therapeutic index

ratio of a drug's lethal dose for 50 percent of the population to its effective dose for 50 percent of the population.

biologic half-life

time the body takes to clear one half of a drug.


drug that best demonstrates the class's common properties and illustrates its particular characteristics.


medication that relieves the sensation of pain.


the absence of the sensation of pain.


the absence of all sensations.

adjunct medication

agent that enhances the effects of other drugs.


medication that induces a loss of sensation to touch or pain.


anasthesia that combines decreased sensation of pain with amnesia while the patient remains conscious.


state of decreased anxiety and inhibitions.


instigation of sleep.

psychotherapeutic medication

drug used to treat mental dysfunction.

extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS)

common side effects of antipsychotic medications, including muscle tremors and parkinonism-like effects.


extrapyramidal symptoms


antipsychotic (literally, affecting the nerves.)

autonomic nervous system

the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary actions.

autonomic ganglia

groups of autonomic nerve cells located outside the central nervous system.

preganglionic nerves

nerve fibers that extend from the central nervous system to the autonomic ganglia.

postganglionic nerves

nerve fibers that extend from the autonomic ganglia to the target tissues.


space betwee nerve cells

neuroeffector junction

specialized synapse between a nerve cell and the organ or tissue it innervates.


chemical messenger that conducts a nervous impulse across a synapse.


nerve cell.


pertaining to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.


pertaining to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.


drug or other substance that causes effects like those of the parasympathetic nervous system. Also called cholinergic.


drug or other substance that blocks or inhibits the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system. Also called anticholinergic.


drug or other substance that causes effects like those of the sympathetic nervous system (also called adrenergic).


drug or other substance that blocks the actions of the sympathetic nervous system (also called antiadrenergic).


drug used to treat and prevent abnormal cardiac rhythms.


drug used to treat hypertension.


drug used to reduce circulating blood volume by increasing the amount of urine.


the stoppage of bleeding.


drug that decreases the formation of platelet plugs.


drug that interrupts the clotting cascade.


drug that acts directly on thrombi to break them down; also called thrombolytic.




drug used to treat high blood cholesterol.


mediator released from mast cells upon contact with allergens.


medication that arrests the effects of histamine by blocking its receptors.


an endogenous substance that affects a wide variety of organ systems.


medication that suppresses the stimulus to cough in the central nervous system.


medication inteded to increase the productivity of cought.


medication intended to make mucus more watery.


alkalotic compound used to increase the gastic environment's pH.


medication used to decrease stool's firmness and increase its water content.


substance that decreases surface tension.


medications used to prevent vomiting.


substance that decrease blood glucose level.


substance that increases blood glucose level.

antineoplastic agent

drug used to treat cancer.


agent that kills or decreases the growth of bacteria.


disease-causing organism.


the body's ability to respond to the presence of a pathogen.


solution containing whole antibodies for a specificpathogen.


solution containing a modified pathogen that does not actually cause disease but still stimulates the development of anitbodies specific to it.

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