A-Z: Medications

A-Z Lexicon of important terms concerning chronic illness

MEDICATIONS

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

ACE Inhibitors – medications to reduce blood pressure.  Eg: benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (capoten), enalapril (Vasotec)

Acetaminophen – Tylenol

Acetylaslicylic acid – aspirin

Albuterol – inhaled medication to dilate (open) the airways and improve breathing (used in asthma treatments)

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors – prescription medications to help break down starchy foods and table sugar, lowering blood sugar levels.  Used by type II diabetics before meals.  Eg: Acarbose (Precose) and Miglitol (Glyset)

Antibiotics – medications to kill bacteria.  Eg: amoxicillin, anacef, Bactrim, ceftriaxone, cephalosporin, gentamicin, rifampin

Anticoagulant – medications given to stop blood clots.  Eg: heparin

Antidepressants – medications to alleviate the sympoms of depression (see: MAOI, TCA, SSRI)  

Azole Antifungals – broad-spectrum anti-fungal medications.  Eg: fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox)

B

Bactrim – cotrimoxazole and sulfamethoxazole (urinary tract infections)

Benzodiazepines – “Benzos,” prescription medications that are used for sedation, anti-anxiety, anti-seizure, and muscle relaxing.  Eg: Aprazolam (Xanax), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam (Ativan).

Beta Blockers – prescription medications to reduce blood pressure.  Eg: Acebutolol (Sectral), Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), Propranolol (Inderal LA, InnoPran XL)

Biguanide – a prescription medication that decreases how much sugar the liver makes, decreases the amount of sugar absorbed by the intestines, sensitizes the body to insulin, and helps muscles absorb glucose.  Used by type II diabetics to control blood sugar.  Eg: Metformin

C

Calcium Channel Blockers – prescription medications to relax the blood vessels and increase the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.  Also reduces the heart’s workload.  Eg: Amlodipine (Norvasc), Diltiazem (Cardizem), Nifedipine (Procardia), Verapamil (Calan)

D

Demerol – meperidine (pain relief)

Digitalis – prescription medication used for CHF

Dilantin – prescription medication used for seizure relief

Diuretic – medications to increase urine production.  Eg: Lasix

E

F

Fentanyl – short acting analgesic

G

H

Heparin – blood anticoagulant (given to stop blood clots)

Hydralazine – lowers blood pressure

I

Insulin – a hormone made by the body to regulate blood glucose.  Is given as a medication for patients with diabetes type I

Short-acting insulin: Humulin, Novolin

Rapid-acting insulin: insulin aspart (NovoLog, Flex Pen), insulin glulisine (Apidra), insulin lispro (Humalog)

Intermediate-acting insulin: insulin isophane (Humulin N, Novolin N)

Long-acting insulin: insulin degludec (Tresiba), insulin detemir (Levemir), insulin glargine (Lantus, Toujeo)

Combination insulins: NovoLog Mix, Humalog Mix, Humulin, Novolin, Ryzodeg

J

K

L

Lidocaine – local anesthetic

Lithium – manic-depressive illness

M

MAB – Monoclonal Antibody.  Used in immunotherapy to bind certain cells or proteins, which then stimulates a patient’s immune system to attack those cells.

MAOI – Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors.  Prescription medication used to treat depression. Eg: Selegiline (Zelapar, Eldepryl), Pheneizine (Nardil)

N

Narcan – Naloxone, used to counteract drug overdoses

Nitroglycerine – anti-analgesic

NSAID – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drug – (Motrin, Advil, etc)

O

P

Pramlintide – an amylinomimetic drug, injected before meals, to delay the time a stomach takes to empty itself.  It also reduces glucagon secretion after meals, which lowers blood sugar.  Used for patients with diabetes.

Prolixin – prescription medication used to treat psychotic disorders, moderate to severe depression, alcohol withdrawal

Q

R

S

SSRI – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.  Prescription medication used to treat depression.  Eg: Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil)

Statins – prescription medications used to lower blood cholesterol levels.  Eg: Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Simvastatin (Zocor)

Steroids – medications that mimic the hormones a body uses to fight stress associated with illnesses and injuries. These medications reduce inflammation and affect the immune system. Used to treat arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, and some kinds of cancer (note: these do NOT include anabolic steroids, which are used to build muscle).

Succinylcholine – a short-acting muscle relaxant

T

TCA – Tri-Cyclic Antidepressant.  Prescription medication to treat depression. Eg: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Doxepin (Silenor)

tPA – Tissue Plasminogen Activator, used to break up blood clots during a heart attack

U

V

Versed – benzodiazepine muscle relaxant used to sedate a patient

W

X

Y

Z