Drug Allergy Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Drug Allergy article.

Adrenaline: A stress hormone produced within the adrenal gland that quickens the heart bea...

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Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Allergen: A substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Common allergens include ragwee...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious allergic reaction. Symptoms include di...

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Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anap...

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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Antigen: A substance that the immune system perceives as being foreign or dangerous. The b...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Calamine: An astringent made from zinc carbonate or zinc oxide, customarily used in lotion...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Dilate: To stretch or enlarge. Also known as dilatate.

Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Epinephrine: A substance produced by the medulla (inside) of the adrenal gland. The name e...

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Erythema: Redness of the skin that results from capillary congestion. Erythema can occur w...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Histamine: A substance that plays a major role in many allergic reactions, dilating blood ...

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Hives: A raised, itchy area of skin that may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It can be ...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Immunoglobulin: A protein produced by plasma cells and lymphocytes and characteristic of t...

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Immunoglobulin E: A class of immunoglobulins that includes the antibodies that are importa...

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Immunology: The study of all aspects of the immune system, including its structure and fun...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Lymph node: One of many small, bean-shaped organs located throughout the lymphatic system....

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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NIEHS: Stands for National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National...

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Node: Literally a knot, a node is a collection of tissue. For example a lymph node, is a ...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Penicillin: The most famous of all antibiotics, named for the fungal mold Penicillium n...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Prescription drug: A drug requiring a prescription, as opposed to an over-the-counter dr...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Tetracycline: A family of broad-spectrum antibiotics effective against a remarkably wide v...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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Wrist: The part of the hand that is nearest the forearm and consists of the carpal bones a...

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Medical Dictionary