The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the erythromycin, E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab, Pce, Pediazole, Ilosone 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.
Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.
Acne: Localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands come to life around puberty, when these glands are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls.
Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care.
Amebiasis: The state of being infected with amebae, especially with the ameba Entamoeba histolytica.
American Academy of Pediatrics: AAP. Its member pediatricians "dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults." According to the Academy, it had as of 1998 some 53,000 members in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Over 34,000 of them were board-certified and called Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP).
Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anaphylactic shock.
Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Originally, an antibiotic was a substance produced by one microorganism that selectively inhibits the growth of another. Synthetic antibiotics, usually chemically related to natural antibiotics, have since been produced that accomplish comparable tasks.
Anticoagulant: An agent that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulants have various uses. Some are used for the prevention or treatment of disorders characterized by abnormal blood clots and emboli. Anticoagulant drugs include intravenous heparin, which acts by inactivating thrombin and several other clotting factors that are required for a clot to form, and oral anticoagulants such as warfarin and dicumarol, which act by inhibiting the liver's production of vitamin K'dependent factors that are crucial to clotting. Anticoagulant solutions are also used for the preservation of stored whole blood and blood fractions and to keep laboratory blood specimens from clotting.
Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent on another organism for life). The plural of bacterium. Examples of bacteria include Acidophilus, a normal inhabitant of yogurt; Gonococcus which causes gonorrhea; Clostridium welchii, the most common cause of gangrene; E. coli, which lives in the colon and can cause disease elsewhere; and Streptococcus, the bacterium that causes the common throat infection called strep throat.
Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.
Breast milk: Milk from the breast. Human milk contains a balance of nutrients that closely matches infant requirements for brain development, growth and a healthy immune system. Human milk also contains immunologic agents and other compounds that act against viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Since an infant's immune system is not fully developed until age 2, human milk provides a distinct advantage over formula.
Chlamydia: The agent of a sexually transmitted disease, a type of bacteria found in the cervix, urethra, throat, or rectum that acts very much like gonorrhea in the way it is spread, the symptoms it produces, and its long-term consequences. Chlamydia is destructive to the Fallopian tubes, causing infertility, tubal pregnancy, and severe pelvic infection. It is common for infected women to have no symptoms. Chlamydia is associated with an increased incidence of preterm births. Also, an infant can acquire the disease during passage through the birth canal, leading to eye problems or pneumonia. Chlamydia is one of the reasons newborns are routinely treated with antibiotic eyedrops. Chlamydia can also cause inflammation of the urethra, epididymis, and rectum in men. A chronic form of arthritis, called reactive arthritis, can develop after chlamydia infection.
Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airways of fluids, mucus, or other material. Also known as tussis.
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.
Diphtheria: An acute infectious upper respiratory tract disease that affects the throat. It is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Symptoms include sore throat and mild fever at first. As the disease progresses, a membranous substance forms in the throat that makes it difficult to breathe and swallow. Diphtheria can be deadly. It is one of the diseases that the DT (diphtheria-tetanus), DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis), and DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular-pertussis) vaccines are designed to prevent.
Endocarditis: an inflammation of one or more of the heart valves and lining tissues of the heart. Having existing congenital defects or damage to the heart valves increases the risk of developing endocarditis. The most common cause of endocarditis is bacterial infection, but fungi can also cause the condition. Symptoms are nonspecific and include fever, chills, and weakness. Long-term intravenous antibiotic therapy, up to 4 to 6 weeks, is the treatment for bacterial endocarditis. In severe cases, valve damage may occur that necessitates surgical replacement of a valve. Complications can include heart failure, stroke, and brain abscess.
Erythrasma: A chronic superficial slowly spreading skin infection, especially in the folds of the body and webs between the toes, caused by a bacterium called Corynebacterium minutissimum. Erythrasma most often affects adults, especially those with diabetes, and people in the tropics.
Erythromycin: Erythromycin is a common antibiotic for treating bacterial infection. Sold under many brand names, including EES, Erycin and Erythromia.
Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth.
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.).
Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large intestines.
Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug may be sold. 3.A term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.
Gonorrhea: A bacterial infection that is transmitted by sexual contact. Gonorrhea is one of the oldest known sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and it is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. Men with gonorrhea may have a yellowish discharge from the penis accompanied by itching and burning. More than half of women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may include burning or frequent urination, yellowish vaginal discharge, redness and swelling of the genitals, and a burning or itching of the vaginal area. If untreated, gonorrhea can lead to severe pelvic infections and even sterility. Complications in later life can include inflammation of the heart valves, arthritis, and eye infections. Gonorrhea can also cause eye infections in babies born of infected mothers. Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics.
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.
Hives: A raised, itchy area of skin that may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It can be rounded or flat-topped but is always elevated above the surrounding skin. It reflects circumscribed dermal edema (local swelling of the skin). The hives are usually well circumscribed but may be coalescent and will blanch with pressure. A single spot is almost always gone by 24 hours but the process may stay for weeks to months. Approximately 20% of the population has experienced a bout of hives.
Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are not normally present within the body. An infection may cause no symptoms and be subclinical, or it may cause symptoms and be clinically apparent. An infection may remain localized, or it may spread through the blood or lymphatic vessels to become systemic (bodywide). Microorganisms that live naturally in the body are not considered infections. For example, bacteria that normally live within the mouth and intestine are not infections.
Legionella: The bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease.
Lipitor: See: Atorvastatin.
Listeriosis: A disease that is caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis is an important public health problem in North America. The disease affects primarily pregnant women, newborns, and anyone who is immunocompromised. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur. Infection during pregnancy may appear mild but can lead to stillbirth, premature delivery, and infection of the newborn. Persons who are at risk of contracting Listeriosis can prevent the infection by avoiding certain high-risk foods and by handling food properly. Raw food from animal sources (such as beef, pork, or poultry) should be thoroughly cooked and uncooked meats should be kept separate from vegetables, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Raw vegetables should be washed thoroughly before being eaten, and raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods made from raw milk should be avoided.
Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on the right side. The liver has a multitude of important and complex functions, including to manufacture proteins, including albumin (to help maintain the volume of blood) and blood clotting factors; to synthesize, store, and process fats, including fatty acids (used for energy) and cholesterol; to metabolize and store carbohydrates (used as the source for the sugar in blood); to form and secrete bile that contains bile acids to aid in the intestinal absorption of fats and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; to eliminate, by metabolizing or secreting, the potentially harmful biochemical products produced by the body, such as bilirubin, from the breakdown of old red blood cells and ammonia from the breakdown of proteins; and to detoxify, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins.
Lyme disease: An inflammatory disease that is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans by the deer tick. The first sign of Lyme disease is a red, circular, expanding rash, usually radiating from the tick bite, followed by flu-like symptoms and joint pains. After the B. burgdorferi has entered the bloodstream, it can infect and inflame many different types of tissues, eventually causing many diverse symptoms. Lyme disease is medically divided into three phases: early localized disease with skin inflammation; early disseminated disease with heart and nervous system involvement, including palsies and meningitis; and late disease, featuring motor and sensory nerve damage and brain inflammation and arthritis. Within hours to weeks of the tick bite, an expanding ring of unraised redness develops, with an outer ring of brighter redness and a central area of clearing, giving it the appearance of a bull's-eye. The redness of the skin is often accompanied by generalized fatigue, muscle and joint stiffness, swollen glands, and headache. Early treatment with antibiotics is the best strategy for preventing major problems due to Lyme disease. Further prevention of Lyme disease involves avoiding areas where ticks are common, wearing protective clothing and lotion, and immediately removing any ticks from the body. Interestingly, Lyme disease only became apparent in 1975, when mothers of a group of children who lived near each other in Lyme, Connecticut, made researchers aware that their children were all diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This unusual grouping of illness that appeared to be rheumatoid eventually led researchers to the identification of the bacterial cause of Lyme disease in 1982.
Macrolide: One in a class of antibiotics that includes Biaxin, Clarithromycin, Ery-Tab, and Erythromycin.
Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the buildup of substances) and catabolism (the breakdown of substances). The term metabolism is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy.
Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called "skeletal muscle." Heart muscle is called "cardiac muscle." Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called "smooth muscle."
Mycoplasma: A large group of bacteria, with more than 100 types identified. Mycoplasma are very simple one-celled organisms without outer membranes. They penetrate and infect individual cells. Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma pneumoniae are examples of mycoplasma bacteria that occur in humans.
Myopathy: Any and all diseases of muscle.
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.
Neisseria: A group of bacteria that includes the bacterium that causes gonorrhea.
Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintenance and restoration of health by attending the needs of sick persons. 2) Feeding a infant at the breast.
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.
Pediatrics: The field of medicine that is concerned with the health of infants, children, and adolescents; their growth and development; and their opportunity to achieve full potential as adults.
Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones.
Penicillin: The most famous of all antibiotics, named for the fungal mold Penicillium notatum from which it is derived. Penicillin acts by destroying the cell wall of bacteria.
Placenta: A temporary organ that joins the mother and fetus, transferring oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus and permitting the release of carbon dioxide and waste products from the fetus. The placenta is roughly disk-shaped, and at full term it measures about 7 inches in diameter and slightly less than 2 inches thick. The upper surface of the placenta is smooth, and the under surface is rough. The placenta is rich in blood vessels. The placenta is expelled with the fetal membranes during the birth process; together, these structures form the afterbirth.
Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneumonia is frequently but not always due to infection. The infection may be bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic. Symptoms may include fever, chills, cough with sputum production, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is suggested by the symptoms and confirmed by chest X-ray testing. Treatment includes antibiotics.
Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman's last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long.
Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.
Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or device for a patient. A prescription has several parts. They include the superscription or heading with the symbol "R" or "Rx", which stands for the word recipe (meaning, in Latin, to take); the inscription, which contains the names and quantities of the ingredients; the subscription or directions for compounding the drug; and the signature which is often preceded by the sign "s" standing for signa (Latin for mark), giving the directions to be marked on the container.
Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coding for the protein.
Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical condition, hormonal cycles, allergies, or contact with irritating substances. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the rash. Medically, a rash is referred to as an exanthem.
Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that has returned after an intermission, a recrudescent fever.
Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.
Rhabdomyolysis: A condition in which skeletal muscle is broken down, releasing muscle enzymes and electrolytes from inside the muscle cells. Risks of rhabdomyolysis include muscle breakdown and kidney failure because the cellular component myo-
Rheumatic fever: An illness that occurs following a streptococcus infection (such as a "strep throat") or scarlet fever and predominantly affects children. Symptoms include fever, pain in the joints, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Rheumatic fever can cause long-lasting effects in the skin, joints, heart, and brain.
Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow through the body. The circulatory system fails to maintain adequate blood flow, sharply curtailing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to vital organs. It also compromises the kidneys and so restricts the removal of wastes from the body. Shock can be due to a number of different mechanisms, including not enough blood volume and not enough output of blood by the heart. The signs and symptoms of shock include low blood pressure (hypotension); overbreathing (hyperventilation); a weak, rapid pulse; cold, clammy, grayish-bluish (cyanotic) skin; decreased urine flow (oliguria); and a sense of great anxiety and foreboding, confusion, and sometimes combativeness. Shock, which is a major medical emergency, is common after serious injury. Emergency care for shock involves keeping the patient warm, giving fluids by mouth or, if necessary, intravenously, and frequently the administration of drugs that act to improve cardiac and circulatory function.
Skeletal: Pertaining to the skeleton, the bones of the body that collectively provide the frame for the body.
Skeletal muscle: Along with smooth and cardiac muscle, one of the types of muscle tissue in the body. Skeletal muscle represents the majority of muscle tissue. It is the type of muscle that powers movement of the skeleton, as in walking and lifting.
Staphylococcus: A group of bacteria that cause a multitude of diseases. Under a microscope, staphylococcus bacteria are round and bunched together. They can cause illness directly by infection or indirectly through products they make, such as the toxins responsible for food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. The best-known member of the staphylococcus family is Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococci are the main culprits in hospital-acquired infections, and they cause thousands of deaths every year. Also known as staph.
Statins: A class of drugs that lower cholesterol.
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.
Strep throat: Strep throat is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcus, which can lead to serious complications if not adequately treated.
Streptococcus: A group of bacteria that causes a multitude of diseases. Under a microscope, streptococcus bacteria look like a twisted bunch of round berries. Illnesses caused by streptococcus include strep throat, strep pneumonia, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever (and rheumatic heart valve damage), glomerulonephritis, the skin disorder erysipelas, and PANDAS. Familiarly known as strep.
Streptococcus pyogenes: A common bacteria of the skin that causes strep throat (streptococcal pharyngitis), impetigo, other skin infections, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, glomerulonephritis, and invasive fasciitis.
Sulfonamides: The sulfa-related group of antibiotics, which are used to treat bacterial infection and some fungal infections.
Syphilis: A sexually transmitted disease caused by Treponema pallidum, a microscopic organism called a spirochete. This worm-like, spiral-shaped organism infects people by burrowing into the moist mucous membranes of the mouth or genitals. From there, the spirochete produces a non-painful ulcer known as a chancre. There are three stages of syphilis:
Tetanus: An often fatal infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which usually enters the body through a puncture, a cut, or an open wound. Tetanus leads to profound painful spasms of muscles, including 'locking' of the jaw so that the mouth cannot open, and death. The C. tetani bacteria releases a toxin that affects the motor nerves, which stimulate the muscles. Prevention involves immediately cleaning and covering any open wound and getting a tetanus vaccination. Regular boosters are necessary to ensure immunity. Unvaccinated people who get puncture wounds or cuts should get tetanus immunoglobulin and a series of tetanus shots immediately; those who have been immunized but are unsure of the date of their last tetanus shot should get boosters. Also known as lockjaw.
Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of the mouth, consisting anatomically of the pharynx and larynx. The throat contains the trachea and a portion of the esophagus.
Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prevent the blood from clotting and to treat blood clots and overly thick blood. Warfarin is also used to reduce the risk of clots causing strokes or heart attacks.
Whooping cough: Also known as pertussis, this is a feared infectious disease that can strike the respiratory system and affect other organs of the body. It has three stages-an initial stage with watery runny nose and eyes, a progressive cough stage with characteristic (sometimes severe) coughing spells, and (if the child survives) a recovery stage. The disease may last for 2-6 weeks. Therapy is supportive and many young infants need hospitalization if the coughing becomes severe. Immunization with DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccine provides protection. With pertussis, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or, if you are metrically inclined, a gram of prevention is worth a kilo of cure). Have your child immunized!
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