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Medications

Medications (also referred to as pharmaceutical drugs, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical preparations, pharmaceutical products, medicinal products, medicines, medicaments, or simply drugs) are the drugs used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) is an important part of the medical field and relies on the science of pharmacology for continual advancement and on pharmacy for appropriate management.Medications

Drugs are classified in various ways. One of the key divisions is by level of control, which distinguishes prescription drugs (those that a pharmacist dispenses only on the order of a physician, physician assistant, or qualified nurse) from over-the-counter drugs (those that consumers can order for themselves). Another key distinction is between traditional small molecule drugs, usually derived from chemical synthesis, and biopharmaceuticals, which include recombinant proteins, vaccines, blood products used therapeutically (such as IVIG), gene therapy, and cell therapy (for instance, stem cell therapies). Other ways to classify medicines are by mode of action, route of administration, biological system affected, or therapeutic effects. An elaborate and widely used classification system is the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC system). The World Health Organization keeps a list of essential medicines.

Drug discovery and drug development are complex and expensive endeavors undertaken by pharmaceutical companies, academic scientists, and governments. Governments generally regulate what drugs can be marketed, how drugs are marketed, and in some jurisdictions, drug pricing. Controversies have arisen over drug pricing and disposal of used drugs.

Definition

In Europe, the term is "medicinal product", and it is defined by EU law as: "(a) Any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in human beings; or
(b) Any substance or combination of substances which may be used in or administered to human beings either with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis."

In the US, a "drug" is:

  • A substance recognized by an official pharmacopoeia or formulary.
  • A substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.
  • A substance (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body.
  • A substance intended for use as a component of a medicine but not a device or a component, part or accessory of a device.
  • Biological products are included within this definition and are generally covered by the same laws and regulations, but differences exist regarding their manufacturing processes (chemical process versus biological process.)

Classification

Pharmaceutical or a drug is classified on the basis of their origin.

  • Drug from natural origin: Herbal or plant or mineral origin, some drug substances are of marine origin.
  • Drug from chemical as well as natural origin: Derived from partial herbal and partial chemical synthesis Chemical, example steroidal drugs
  • Drug derived from chemical synthesis.
  • Drug derived from animal origin: For example, hormones, and enzymes.
  • Drug derived from microbial origin: Antibiotics
  • Drug derived by biotechnology genetic-engineering, hybridoma technique for example
  • Drug derived from radioactive substances.

One of the key classifications is between traditional small molecule drugs, usually derived from chemical synthesis, and biologic medical products, which include recombinant proteins, vaccines, blood products used therapeutically (such as IVIG), gene therapy, and cell therapy (for instance, stem cell therapies).

Pharmaceutical or drug or medicines are classified in various other groups besides their origin on the basis of pharmacological properties like mode of action and their pharmacological action or activity, such as by chemical properties, mode or route of administration, biological system affected, or therapeutic effects. An elaborate and widely used classification system is the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC system). The World Health Organization keeps a list of essential medicines.

A sampling of classes of medicine includes:

  • Antipyretics: reducing fever (pyrexia/pyresis)
  • Analgesics: reducing pain (painkillers)
  • Antimalarial drugs: treating malaria
  • Antibiotics: inhibiting germ growth
  • Antiseptics: prevention of germ growth near burns, cuts and wounds
  • Mood stabilizers: lithium and valpromide
  • Hormone replacements: Premarin
  • Oral contraceptives: Enovid, "biphasic" pill, and "triphasic" pill
  • Stimulants: methylphenidate, amphetamine
  • Tranquilizers: meprobamate, chlorpromazine, reserpine, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, and alprazolam
  • Statins: lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin

Pharmaceuticals may also be described as "specialty", independent of other classifications, which is an ill defined class of drugs that might be difficult to administer, require special handling during administration, require patient monitoring during and immediately after administration, have particular regulatory requirements restricting their use, and are generally expensive relative to other drugs.

Types of medicines

For the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system)

Upper digestive tract: antacids, reflux suppressants, antiflatulents, antidopaminergics, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H2-receptor antagonists, cytoprotectants, prostaglandin analogues

Lower digestive tract: laxatives, antispasmodics, antidiarrhoeals, bile acid sequestrants, opioid

For the cardiovascular system

General: Я-receptor blockers ("beta blockers"), calcium channel blockers, diuretics, cardiac glycosides, antiarrhythmics, nitrate, antianginals, vasoconstrictors, vasodilators.

Affecting blood pressure/(antihypertensive drugs): ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers, a blockers, calcium channel blockers, thiazide diuretics, loop diuretics, aldosterone inhibitors

Coagulation: anticoagulants, heparin, antiplatelet drugs, fibrinolytics, anti-hemophilic factors, haemostatic drugs

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) for lowering LDL cholesterol inhibitors: hypolipidaemic agents.

For the central nervous system

Drugs affecting the central nervous system include: Psychedelics, hypnotics, anaesthetics, antipsychotics, eugeroics, antidepressants (including tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, lithium salts, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)), antiemetics,

Anticonvulsants/antiepileptics, anxiolytics, barbiturates, movement disorder (e.g., Parkinson's disease) drugs, stimulants (including amphetamines), benzodiazepines, cyclopyrrolones, dopamine antagonists, antihistamines, cholinergics, anticholinergics, emetics, cannabinoids, and 5-HT (serotonin) antagonists.

For pain and consciousness (analgesic drugs)

The main classes of painkillers are NSAIDs, opioids and Local anesthetics.

For musculo-skeletal disorders

The main categories of drugs for musculoskeletal disorders are: NSAIDs (including COX-2 selective inhibitors), muscle relaxants, neuromuscular drugs, and anticholinesterases.

For the eye

General: adrenergic neurone blocker, astringent, ocular lubricant
Diagnostic: topical anesthetics, sympathomimetics, parasympatholytics, mydriatics, cycloplegics
Antibacterial: antibiotics, topical antibiotics, sulfa drugs, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones
Antiviral drug
Anti-fungal: imidazoles, polyenes
Anti-inflammatory: NSAIDs, corticosteroids
Anti-allergy: mast cell inhibitors
Anti-glaucoma: adrenergic agonists, beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors/hyperosmotics, cholinergics, miotics, parasympathomimetics, prostaglandin agonists/prostaglandin inhibitors. nitroglycerin

For the ear, nose and oropharynx

Antibiotics, sympathomimetics, antihistamines, anticholinergics, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, antiseptics, local anesthetics, antifungals, cerumenolytic

For the respiratory system

bronchodilators, antitussives, mucolytics, decongestants
inhaled and systemic corticosteroids, Beta2-adrenergic agonists, anticholinergics, Mast cell stabilizers. Leukotriene antagonists

For endocrine problems

androgens, antiandrogens, estrogens, gonadotropin, corticosteroids, human growth hormone, insulin, antidiabetics (sulfonylureas, biguanides/metformin, thiazolidinediones, insulin), thyroid hormones, antithyroid drugs, calcitonin, diphosponate, vasopressin analogues

For the reproductive system or urinary system

antifungal, alkalinizing agents, quinolones, antibiotics, cholinergics, anticholinergics, antispasmodics, 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, selective alpha-1 blockers, sildenafils, fertility medications

For contraception

Hormonal contraception
Ormeloxifene
Spermicide

For obstetrics and gynecology

NSAIDs, anticholinergics, haemostatic drugs, antifibrinolytics, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), bone regulators, beta-receptor agonists, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, LHRH
gamolenic acid, gonadotropin release inhibitor, progestogen, dopamine agonists, oestrogen, prostaglandins, gonadorelin, clomiphene, tamoxifen, Diethylstilbestrol

For the skin

emollients, anti-pruritics, antifungals, disinfectants, scabicides, pediculicides, tar products, vitamin A derivatives, vitamin D analogues, keratolytics, abrasives, systemic antibiotics, topical antibiotics, hormones, desloughing agents, exudate absorbents, fibrinolytics, proteolytics, sunscreens, antiperspirants, corticosteroids, immune modulators

For infections and infestations

antibiotics, antifungals, antileprotics, antituberculous drugs, antimalarials, anthelmintics, amoebicides, antivirals, antiprotozoals, probiotics, prebiotics, antitoxins and antivenoms.

For the immune system

vaccines, immunoglobulins, immunosuppressants, interferons, monoclonal antibodies

For allergic disorders

anti-allergics, antihistamines, NSAIDs, Corticosteroids

For nutrition

Tonics, electrolytes and mineral preparations (including iron preparations and magnesium preparations), parenteral nutritions, vitamins, anti-obesity drugs, anabolic drugs, haematopoietic drugs, food product drugs

For neoplastic disorders

cytotoxic drugs, therapeutic antibodies, sex hormones, aromatase inhibitors, somatostatin inhibitors, recombinant interleukins, G-CSF, erythropoietin

For diagnostics

contrast media

For euthanasia

A euthanaticum is used for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Euthanasia is not permitted by law in many countries, and consequently medicines will not be licensed for this use in those countries.

The list of drugs in alphabetical order

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Note: This information may not be actual at the time of reading. Always look for actual instructions in the package with the medication.
It is forbidden to use these materials without the advice of healthcare professional.

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