Information about Drugs

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Adverse Drug Reaction

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Adverse Drug Reaction - an undesired, negative, and often unpleasant response to a medication. People commonly refer to adverse DRUG reactions as side effects, which is not entirely accurate because a SIDE EFFECT may have therapeutic value whereas an adverse drug reaction is potentially harmful. Adverse drug reactions are common, affecting more than two million Americans each year. They can occur with any drug a person takes or uses, ranging in severity

Aging, Effects on Drug Metabolism and Drug Response

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Aging, Effects on Drug Metabolism and Drug Response - Many drugs have different therapeutic effects as well as potential adverse DRUG reactions, depending on a person’s age. The very young and the very old often have limited LIVER function, which affects the ways in which the liver metabolizes drugs, resulting in lower thresholds for toxicity and unpredictable therapeutic effects. In the infant and young child, the liver has not yet fully developed

Antibiotic Resistance

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Antibiotic Resistance is the adaptation of bacterial strains to certain of the ANTIBIOTIC MEDICATIONS doctors prescribe to treat infections the BACTERIA cause, rendering the antibiotic ineffective. Such adaptation is an evolutionary mechanism that allows the strain of bacteria to survive. Though in most situations the strain of bacteria remains sensitive to other antibiotics even as it develops resistance to a particular antibiotic, antibiotic resistance

Antitoxin - definition

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Antitoxin is a serum product, cultivated from animal (usually horse) BLOOD, that counteracts the effects of toxins (poisons) certain strains of anaerobic BACTERIA produce when they enter the body. The antitoxin binds with the toxin that is circulating in the bloodstream, neutralizing it. Some antitoxins, such as those for Clostridium tetani (tetanus) and Corynebacterium diphtheriae (DIPHTHERIA), are effective prophylactically (administered to prevent

Antivenin (antivenom)

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Antivenin is a serum product, also called antivenom, cultivated from animal BLOOD and given therapeutically to neutralize the effects of poisonous venoms such as from BITES AND STINGS. Antivenin is specific to a particular venom and works by activating antibodies that enable the person’s IMMUNE SYSTEM to fend off the effects of the venom. When possible, safely capture the snake or spider that renders the bite for positive identification and the

Bioavailability of drugs

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Bioavailability is the amount of a DRUG’S active ingredient the body absorbs and the length of time it takes for that ingredient to cause an effect in the body. A common means of determining bioavailability is to measure the concentrations of the drug in the BLOOD circulation or in the URINE at certain time intervals. Doctors know the spectrum of bioavailability and calculate DOSAGE to obtain the desired therapeutic concentration of the drug. For

Bioequivalence definition

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Bioequivalence - a DRUG that has the same biological effect in the body as a substance the body makes naturally (such as a HORMONE supplement) or two or more drugs that have the same BIOAVAILABILITY and EFFICACY. Bioequivalence is a significant concern with NARROW THERAPEUTIC INDEX (NTI) drugs, which require precise and consistent dosing, as well as with generic drugs. A GENERIC DRUG, which is a different chemical formulation of equivalent active

Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes

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Cytochrome P450 enzymes - a group of about 60 endogenous enzymes (enzymes the body produces) that participate in the METABOLISM of drugs. The CYP450 enzymes also participate in lipid (notably cholesterol) and steroid HORMONE synthesis. Most of the CYP450 enzymes that are active in DRUG metabolism are in the LIVER and the SMALL INTESTINE. The CYP450 enzymes function as catalysts to facilitate the processes by which the drug transforms from its initial

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