Medical Terms and Definitions Used in Pharmacy

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Pharmacy Technician Exam
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1

Absorption Rate

The amount of time it takes after a drug is administered for it to enter the bloodstream.

2

Acute

Usually refers to a condition that has a fast onset time, severe effect, and short course of duration.

3

Admixture

Two or more drugs blended or mixed together to create a desired substance or solution.

4

Adverse Reaction

When the body has an undesired or negative response to a medication or drug-drug interaction.

5

Agonist

A drug that triggers a receptor to produce a physiologic response. An easy way to remember the difference is: Agonists try to make things happen, Antagonists try to stop things from happening.

6

Allegation

An unofficial Math maneuver that can be used to determine ratios for compounding.

7

Allergic Reaction

A response from the immune system to a substance which a patient has an allergy to.

8

Allergy

When the body is highly sensitive to (an otherwise harmless) substance.

9

Amphetamine

Central nervous system stimulant prescribed for the treatment of : ADHD, Narcolepsy, Obesity and other conditions. Also known as "Speed", Amphetamines are highly addictive and DEA controlled.

10

Ampule

A (small) sealed glass vial that is to be 'broken' open and normally contains injection solution.

11

Analgesic

Often referred to as "pain relievers", Analgesics are drug used to reduce or suppress pain. (ex. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Oxycodone, etc.)

12

Anaphylactic Shock

The body's reaction to Anaphylaxis caused by your immune system.

13

Anaphylaxis

An extreme reaction to something you're severely allergic to, such as a peanuts, shell-fish or a bee sting which requires emergency medical attention and may be life threatening.

14

Anestetic

Drugs that create an insensitivity to pain by blocking nerve transmission to the brain.

15

Antagonist

Drugs designed to block a receptor-mediated effect created by neurotransmitters. An easy way to remember the difference is: Agonists try to make things happen, Antagonists try to stop things from happening.

16

Anticoagulant

A drug that is used to decrease or prevent the formation of blood clots

17

Anticonvulsant

These are drugs used to help prevent seizures or to lessen the severity of a seizure.

18

Antiemetic

Drugs used to prevent, alleviate or suppress nausea and vomiting.

19

Antihistamine

Drugs used to counteract the immune systems histamine reaction to allergy or respiratory illness.

20

Antineoplastic

Drugs prescribed to slow the growth of malignant tumors.

21

Antipyretic

Drugs used to prevent or reduce fever (abnormally high body temperature).

22

Antispasmotic

Drugs used to relieve or prevent muscle spasms.

23

Antitussive

Drugs used to suppress or relieve coughing.

24

Apothecary

Another word for pharmacist. However, it also refers to a system of weights and measures.

25

Aqueous

Refers to when something is, or to be water based.

26

Aseptic Technique

Additional labels placed on prescription packaging that provide supplementary information, various warnings, routes of administrations, etc.

27

AWP (Average Wholesale Price)

Found in the Redbook, the AWP of a drug is the average price at which drugs are purchased at the wholesale level. It is mainly used to determine third-party reimbursement.

28

Bactericidal

Drugs that destroy / kill bacteria.

29

Bacteriostatic

Drugs that slow down or inhibit the duplication (growth) of bacteria.

30

Bio-Availability

The rate which a drug is made available to the target site of physiological activity

31

Bio-Equivalence

When a drug has the same biological effect / efficacy / bioavailability as a a similar drug with a different formulation.

32

Bronchodilator

A drug that widens passages in the lungs to ease breathing.

33

Buccal

Tablet held between the cheek and gum which dissolves, thereby permitting quicker absorption

34

CC

Abbreviation for cubic centimeter = Same as 1 mL (Milliliter)

35

Celsius

It's basically the same as Centigrade.

36

Centigrade

Standard measure of temperature in Science / Metric system. Water freezes at 0 and boils at 100.

37

Closed Formulary

A program where drugs not listed in the Formulary require prior authorization or may not be covered whatsoever by the insurer.

38

Coinsurance

A cost-sharing method where a patient pays only a percentage for medication after their deductible is met, and their insurer pays the rest.

39

Chronic

Refers to an illness that persists for a long period of time or frequent re-occurence.

40

Communicable

Refers to illness / disease that is contagious or transmittable to others.

41

Compound

A final substance (or solution) made from two or more substances.

42

Compounding

The creation of a particular drug mixture to fit the unique need of a patient.

43

Controlled Release (CR)

Refers to drugs formulations designed to release gradually over a specific time.

44

Controlled Substance

In the U.S., it refers to drugs that are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

45

Co-Pay

A set dollar amount a patient must pay for a prescription out-of-pocket when it's dispensed.

46

Deductible

A set amount a patient must pay before an insurance provider will begin paying claims.

47

Dehydration

When the body loses water and electrolytes essential for bodily function.

48

Denominator

Number below the line in a fraction that indicates the number which one whole is divided.