Medication, also referred to as medicine, can be loosely defined as any substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. [ [http://www.fda.gov/opacom/laws/fdcact/fdcact1.htm US Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, SEC. 210., (g)(1)(B).] Accessed
17 August, 2008.] [ [http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004L0027:EN:HTML Directive 2004/27/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 amending Directive 2001/83/EC on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use. Article 1.] Published March 31, 2004. Accessed 17 August, 2008.] Other synonyms include pharmacotherapy, pharmacotherapeutics, and drugtreatment.
Medication can be usually classified in various ways, e.g. by its chemical properties, mode of administration, or
biologicalsystem affected. An elaborate and widely used classification system is the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System(ATC system).
Types of medicines:
Antipyretics: reducing fever (pyrexia)
Anti-malariadrugs : treating malaria
Antibiotics: inhibiting germ growth
Antiseptics: prevention of germ growth near burns, cuts and wounds
Types of medications (type of pharmacotherapy)
For the gastrointestinal tract or digestive system
digestive tract: antacids, reflux suppressants, antiflatulents, antidopaminergics, proton pump inhibitors, H2-receptor antagonists, cytoprotectants, prostaglandin analogues
* Lower digestive tract:
laxatives, antispasmodics, antidiarrhoeals, bile acid sequestrants, opioids
For the cardiovascular system
beta-receptor blockeror beta blocker, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, cardiac glycosides, antiarrhythmics, nitrate, antianginals, vasoconstrictor, vasodilator, peripheral activator
* Affecting Blood pressure:
ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, alpha blocker
anticoagulant, heparin, antiplatelet drug, fibrinolytic, anti-hemophilic factor, haemostatic drugs
* Atherosclerosis/cholesterol agents:
hypolipidaemic agents, statins.
For the central nervous system
hypnotic, anaesthetics, antipsychotic, antidepressant(including tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitor, lithium salt, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), anti-emetic, anticonvulsantand antiepileptic, anxiolytic, barbiturate, movement disorder drug, stimulant(including amphetamines), benzodiazepine, cyclopyrrolone, dopamine antagonist, antihistamine, cholinergic, anticholinergic, emetic, cannabinoids, 5-HT antagonist
For pain & consciousness (analgesic drugs)
The main classes of painkillers are
NSAIDs, opioids and various orphans such as paracetamol, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.
For musculo-skeletal disorders
NSAIDs (including COX-2 selective inhibitors), muscle relaxant, neuromuscular drug
For the eye
* General: adrenergic neurone blocker,
astringent, ocular lubricant
topical anesthetics, sympathomimetics, parasympatholytics, mydriatics, cycloplegics
antibiotics, topical antibiotics, sulfa drugs, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones
* 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
sympathomimetic, antihistamine, anticholinergic, NSAIDs, steroid, antiseptic, local anesthetic, antifungal, cerumenolyti
For the respiratory system
bronchodilator, NSAIDs, anti-allergic, antitussive, mucolytic, decongestant corticosteroid, beta-receptor antagonist, anticholinergic, steroid
For endocrine problems
androgen, antiandrogen, gonadotropin, corticosteroid, growth hormone, insulin, antidiabetic( sulfonylurea, biguanide/ metformin, thiazolidinedione, insulin), thyroid hormones, antithyroid drugs, calcitonin, diphosponate, vasopressin analogues
For the reproductive system or urinary system
antifungal, alkalising agent, quinolones, antibiotic, cholinergic, anticholinergic, anticholinesterase, antispasmodic, 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, selective alpha-1 blocker, sildenafil, fertility medication
For obstetrics and gynecology
NSAIDs, anticholinergic, haemostatic drug, antifibrinolytic, Hormone Replacement Therapy, bone regulator, beta-receptor agonist, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, LHRH
gamolenic acid, gonadotropin release inhibitor, progestogen, dopamine agonist, oestrogen, prostaglandin, gonadorelin, clomiphene, tamoxifen, Diethylstilbestrol
For the skin
emollient, anti-pruritic, antifungal, disinfectant, scabicide, pediculicide, tar products, vitamin A derivatives, vitamin D analogue, keratolytic, abrasive, systemic antibiotic, topical antibiotic, hormones, desloughing agent, exudate absorbent, fibrinolytic, proteolytic, sunscreen, antiperspirant, corticosteroid
For infections and infestations
antibiotic, antifungal, antileprotic, antituberculous drug, antimalarial, anthelmintic, amoebicide, antiviral, antiprotozoal
vaccine, immunoglobulin, immunosuppressant, interferon, monoclonal antibody
For allergic disorders
tonic, iron preparation,
electrolyte, parenteral nutritional supplement, vitamins, anti-obesity drug, anabolic drug, haematopoietic drug, food product drug
For neoplastic disorders
cytotoxic drug, sex hormones, aromatase inhibitor, somatostatin inhibitor, recombinant interleukins, G-CSF, erythropoietin
An euthanaticum is used for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, see also barbiturates.
Euthanasia is not permitted by law in many countries, and consequently medicines will not be licenesed for this use in those countries.
Medications may be divided into
over-the-counter drugs (OTC) which may be available without special restrictions, and prescription only medicine(POM), which must be prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner. The precise distinction between OTC and prescription depends on the legal jurisdiction.
International Narcotics Control Boardof the United Nationsimposes a world law of prohibitionof certain medications. They publish a lengthy list of chemicals and plants whose trade and consumption (where applicable) is forbidden. OTC medications are sold without restriction as they are considered safe enough that most people will not hurt themselves accidentally by taking it as instructed. Many countries, such as the United Kingdomhave a third category of pharmacy medicines which can only be sold in registered pharmacies, by or under the supervision of a pharmacist.
For patented medications, countries may have certain mandatory licensing programs which compel, in certain situations, a medication's owner to contract with other agents to manufacture the drug. Such programs may deal with the contingency of a lack of medication in the event of a serious epidemic of disease, or may be part of efforts to ensure that disease treating drugs, such as AIDS drugs, are available to countries which cannot afford the drug owner's price.
Polypharmacy: suggests that multiple use of prescribed and non-prescribed medications, (use of 5 or more), can have adverse effects on the recipient. Zoopharmacognosy: Animal usage of drugs and non-foods.
A blockbuster drug is a drug generating more than $1 billion of revenue for its owner each year. The search for blockbusters has been the foundation of the R&D strategy adopted by big pharmaceutical companies, but this looks set to change. New advances in
genomics, and the promise of personalized medicine, are likely to fragment the pharmaceutical market.
A recent report from Urch Publishing estimated that about one third of the pharma market by value is accounted for by blockbusters. About 100 products are blockbusters. The top seller was Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering medication marketed by
Pfizerwith sales of $12.2 billion.
Leading blockbuster drugs
List of drugs
Use of biotechnology in pharmaceutical manufacturing
* [http://www.drugbank.ca/ DrugBank advanced and free drug database]
* [http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmedicines/en/ WHO Model List of Essential Medicines]
* [http://www.psdh.gov.hk/eps/productSearchSimpleAction.do Database of registered pharmaceuticals in Hong Kong]
* [http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/DrugSafety/DrugIndex.htm Consumer drug information from the FDA]
* [http://www.medicines.ie IPHA Medicines Compendium]
* [http://www.medicines.org.uk www.medicines.org.uk] Up-to-date medicines information from the pharmaceutical industry and other sources
* [http://thepharmaguide.com The Pharma Guide of Pakistan]
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