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LifeSmarts U Health Glossary

AAPC American Association of Poison Control Centers

 

Acetaminophen A drug that elevates the body’s pain threshold and lowers fever. The most widely used pain reliever in the United States

 

Active IngredientThe drug component(s) of a medicine

 

Analgesics This category of drugs relieves pain

 

Anti-inflammatory This category of drugs reduces inflammation, redness, swelling, warmth and pain (NSAID)

 

Antipyretics This category of drugs reduces fever

 

API Active pharmaceutical ingredient

 

Aspirin One of the oldest OTC pain relievers on the market, it works by slowing down the body’s production of a pain-causing substance called “prostaglandin”

 

Brand Name Drug A brand name drug sold with a trademark-protected name

 

Buffered A pain reliever that contains an antacid to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach

 

Diuretic Drug that causes increased urination

 

DXM Dextromethorphan is an over-the-counter cough suppressant found in cold medications

 

Dose (dosage) The amount of medicine to take

 

Drug A substance for treatment, or prevention, of disease; intended to affect the structure or a function of the body

 

Drug Facts Label OTC drugs are required to have this label on the product package so that consumers can easily find the product information. Components of the label include:

Active ingredient Drug(s) the medicine contains

Directions How much to take, when to take

Inactive ingredients What is in the medicine in addition to the drug

Purposes What the drug is for

Uses What problems the drug can treat

Warnings Who should not take the medicine; problems to watch for

 

Drug Interactions When one drug interacts with another it changes the way one or both of the drugs work in the body and can cause unexpected, and sometimes dangerous, side effects

 

DUI Driving under the influence

 

DUID Driving under the influence of drugs

 

DWI Driving while impaired

 

Emetic Drug that causes vomiting

 

Enteric-coated A special coating allows pills to pass undigested through your stomach and dissolve in your small intestine, which helps prevent or reduce stomach irritation

 

Excipient The active ingredient in a drug is suspended in this inactive ingredient

 

Extra-strength Drugs Drugs that contain more active ingredient than regular-strength products do

 

FDA Food and Drug Administration, the Federal agency that is responsible for assuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs

 

Generic Drug A drug that is the same as a brand name drug in dosage, safety, strength, how it is taken, quality, performance, and intended use

 

GRAS/E Generally recognized as safe and effective

 

Hepatotoxicity Toxic to the liver, liver poisoning

 

Ibuprofen A common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it works by blocking the production of substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation

 

Legend Drug Another name for a prescription drug

 

Medicine See Drug

 

Naproxen Sodium A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by blocking the production of substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation

 

NSAID Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen

 

OTC Over-the-counter, medicines that are sold without a prescription from a health care professional

 

Pharmacy Drugstore

 

Prescription Drug Product A licensed drug product that requires a doctor’s authorization and prescription to purchase

 

Reye’s Syndrome Serious disorder affecting children after a viral infection; associated with aspirin

 

Robotripping A slang term for the abuse of cough syrup

 

Rx Indicates a prescription drug

 

Side Effects Unwanted or unexpected effects from a medicine

 

Skittling A slang term for the abuse of cough syrup and cold medicine

 

Strength How much of the active ingredient is present in each dose

 

Timed-release lso called extended-release or sustained-release, these drugs dissolve slowly over time, allowing the active ingredient to work over many hours