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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