The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Cox-2 Inhibitors article.
Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs.
Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect a major problem with one of the organs in the abdomen, such as appendicitis or a perforated intestine, or it may result from a fairly minor problem, such as excess buildup of intestinal gas.
Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the farthest reaches of the body. Since blood in arteries is usually full of oxygen, the hemoglobin in the red blood cells is oxygenated. The resultant form of hemoglobin (oxyhemoglobin) is what makes arterial blood look bright red.
Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis. (see osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, pseudogout).
Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this anti-inflammatory pain reliever.
Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a tiny fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.
Bypass: An operation in which a new pathway is created for the transport of substances in the body.
CABG: Coronary artery bypass graft; and Coronary artery bypass grafting.
Colorectal: Related to the colon and/or rectum.
Coronary artery bypass graft: Abbreviated CABG. A form of bypass surgery that can create new routes around narrowed and blocked coronary arteries, permitting increased blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. Coronary artery bypass graft is an option for selected groups of patients with significant narrowings and blockages of the heart arteries. The bypass graft for a CABG can be a vein from the leg or an inner chest-wall artery. CABG surgery is one of the most commonly performed major operations. Coronary artery disease develops because of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) that supply blood to the heart muscle. Diagnostic tests prior to (and after) CABG include the electrocardiogram (EKG), stress test, echocardiogram, and coronary angiography.
Cox-1: Cyclooxygenase-1, an enzyme that acts to speed up the production of certain chemical messengers, called prostaglandins, in a variety of areas of the body such as the stomach, kidneys, and sites of inflammation. In the stomach, prostaglandins promote the production of a protective natural mucus lining. They also interact within certain cells that are responsible for inflammation and other functions.
Cox-2: Cyclooxygenase-2, an enzyme that acts to speed up the production of certain chemical messengers, called prostaglandins that play a key role in in promoting inflammation. When cox-2 activity is blocked, inflammation is reduced. Unlike cox-1, cox-2 is active only at the site of inflammation, not in the stomach.
Cox-2 inhibitor: An antiinflammatory drug that selectively blocks the cox-2 enzyme. Blocking this enzyme impedes the production of the chemical messengers that cause the pain and swelling of arthritis inflammation. Cox-2 inhibitors do not pose as great a risk of injuring the stomach or intestines as drugs that block cox-1. An example of a cox-2 inhibitor is celecoxib (brand name: Celebrex).
Cyclooxygenase-1: Cyclooxygenase-1, an enzyme that acts to speed up the production of certain chemical messengers, called prostaglandins, in a variety of areas of the body such as the stomach, kidneys, and sites of inflammation. In the stomach, prostaglandins promote the production of a protective natural mucus lining. They also interact within certain cells that are responsible for inflammation and other functions.
Cyclooxygenase-2: Cyclooxygenase-2, an enzyme that acts to speed up the production of certain chemical messengers, called prostaglandins that play a key role in in promoting inflammation. When cox-2 activity is blocked, inflammation is reduced. Unlike cox-1, cox-2 is active only at the site of inflammation, not in the stomach.
Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. The opposite of constipation. There are many infectious and noninfectious causes of diarrhea. Persistent diarrhea is both uncomfortable and dangerous to the health because it can indicate an underlying infection and may mean that the body is not able to absorb some nutrients due to a problem in the bowels. Treatment includes drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and taking over-the-counter remedies. People with diarrhea that persists for more than a couple days, particularly small children or elderly people, should seek medical attention.
Enzyme: A protein (or protein-based molecule) that speeds up a chemical reaction in a living organism. An enzyme acts as catalyst for specific chemical reactions, converting a specific set of reactants (called substrates) into specific products. Without enzymes, life as we know it would not exist.
Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical reaction.
Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degrees F. (37 degrees C.), in practice a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C.).
Flatulence: Excess gas in the intestinal tract. But excess flatulence is difficult to define without a yardstick to measure the "normal" frequency of gas passages. Symptom-free individuals have recorded approximately 14 passages of gas per 24 hours. From the Latin flastus, meaning blowing, as a breeze or snort.
Graft: Healthy skin, bone, kidney, liver, or other tissue that is taken from one part of the body to replace diseased or injured tissue removed from another part of the body. For example, skin grafts can be used to cover areas of skin that have been burned.
Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck. Headache, like chest pain or back ache, has many causes.
Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. The heart is positioned in the chest behind the sternum (breastbone); in front of the trachea, esophagus, and aorta; and above the diaphragm. A normal heart is about the size of a closed fist and weighs about 298 grams or 10.5 ounces. It is cone-shaped, with the point of the cone pointing down to the left. Two-thirds of the heart lies in the left side of the chest, with the balance in the right side of the chest. The heart is composed of specialized cardiac muscle, and it is four-chambered, with a right atrium and ventricle, and an anatomically separate left atrium and ventricle. The blood flows from the systemic veins into the right atrium, thence to the right ventricle, from which it is pumped to the lungs and then returned into the left atrium, thence to the left ventricle, from which it is driven into the systemic arteries. The heart is thus functionally composed of two hearts: the right heart and the left heart. The right heart consists of the right atrium, which receives deoxygenated blood from the body, and the right ventricle, which pumps the deoxygenated blood to the lungs under low pressure; and the left heart, which consists of the left atrium, which receives oxygenated blood from the lung, and the left ventricle, which pumps the oxygenated blood out to the body under high pressure.
Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is used narrowly and incorrectly as a synonym for coronary artery disease. Heart disease is synonymous with cardiac disease but not with cardiovascular disease which is any disease of the heart or blood vessels. Among the many types of heart disease, see, for example: Angina; Arrhythmia; Congenital heart disease; Coronary artery disease (CAD); Dilated cardiomyopathy; Heart attack (myocardial infarction); Heart failure; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Mitral regurgitation; Mitral valve prolapse; and Pulmonary stenosis.
Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a result of infection, irritation, or injury. Inflammation can be external or internal.
Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number of factors, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep, waking up too early in the morning, or unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep; it is a measure of satisfaction with sleep. Individuals vary normally in their need for and their satisfaction with sleep. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.
Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. It consists of the small and large intestines.
Menstrual cramps: Cramping in the lower abdomen, usually in the first or second day of the menstrual cycle, that is caused by contractions of the uterus as it expels its unneeded contents and by the passage of clotted blood through the cervix. Ibuprofen or other pain relievers can reduce the severity of menstrual cramps, and some women report that exercise is also helpful. Severe menstrual cramps, particularly if paired with excessive bleeding or passage of large blood clots, can occasionally be a sign of endometriosis or other disorders of the female reproductive tract. Also known as dysmenorrhea.
Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, including systemic illnesses (such as influenza), medications, pain, and inner ear disease.
Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.
Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly supervised by a licensed pharmacist.
Precancerous: Pertaining to something that is not yet overtly cancerous, but appears to be on its way to becoming a cancer. Synonymous with premalignant.
Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upper part of the stomach connects to the esophagus, and the lower part leads into the small intestine. When food enters the stomach, muscles in the stomach wall create a rippling motion (peristalsis) that mixes and mashes the food. At the same time, juices made by glands in the lining of the stomach help digest the food. After about 3 hours, the food becomes a liquid and moves into the small intestine, where digestion continues.
Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood flow or rupture of an artery to the brain. Sudden loss of speech, weakness, or paralysis of one side of the body can be symptoms. A suspected stroke can be confirmed by scanning the brain with special X-ray tests, such as CAT scans. The death rate and level of disability resulting from strokes can be dramatically reduced by immediate and appropriate medical care. Prevention involves minimizing risk factors, such as controlling high blood pressure and diabetes. Abbreviated CVA. Also known as cerebrovascular accident.
Sulfonamides: The sulfa-related group of antibiotics, which are used to treat bacterial infection and some fungal infections.
Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or injury. Surgery can involve cutting, abrading, suturing, or otherwise physically changing body tissues and organs.
Tendinitis: Inflammation of a tendon (the tissue by which muscle attaches to bone). Tendinitis most commonly occurs as a result of injury, such as to the tendons around the shoulder or elbow. It can also occur as a result of an underlying inflammatory rheumatic disease, such as reactive arthritis or gout. Tendinitis is synonymous with tendonitis.
Ulceration: The process or fact of being eroded away, as by an ulcer.
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