12 Medicine Cabinet Essentials (Home Pharmacy) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the 12 Medicine Cabinet Essentials (Home Pharmacy) article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acid indigestion: Excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid by the stomach cells. Medically...

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

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

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Aluminum: A naturally occurring element that makes up about 8% of the surface of the earth...

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American Academy of Pediatrics: AAP. Its member pediatricians "dedicate their efforts and ...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Antibacterial: Anything that destroys bacteria or suppresses their growth or their ability...

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

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Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

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Bicarbonate: In medicine, bicarbonate usually refers to bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarb...

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

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

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Brain swelling: See: Cerebral edema.

Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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

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Bronchi: The plural of bronchus.

Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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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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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Common cold: A contagious viral upper respiratory tract infection. The common cold can be ...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Dehydration: Excessive loss of body water. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that cau...

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Dextromethorphan: An oral cough suppressant available in the US without a prescription but...

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Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Ear: The hearing organ. There are three sections of the ear, according to the anatomy tex...

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Earache: Pain in the ear. This can occur because of conditions within the ear itself, the ...

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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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Expectorant: A medication that helps bring up mucus and other material from the lungs, bro...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Feces: The excrement discharged from the 'intestines.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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Flu: Flu is a colloquialism for influenza. The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused ...

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Gallstones: Stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones can be as smal...

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Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heartburn: An uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up be...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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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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Hoarseness: Hoarseness is a term referring to abnormal voice changes. Hoarseness may be ma...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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

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Ileus: Obstruction of the intestine due to its being paralyzed. The paralysis does not nee...

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Infant: A young baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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

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Influenza: Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses Mo...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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

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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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Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat con...

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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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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Magnesia: Named after a town in present day Turkey where an ore containing magnesium carbo...

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Magnesium: A mineral involved in many processes in the body including nerve signaling, the...

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Melatonin: A hormone that is produced by the pineal gland and is intimately involved in re...

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Motion sickness: A disorder of the sense of balance and equilibrium and, hence, the sense ...

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Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

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

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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NSAID: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a medication that is commonly prescribed or pu...

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

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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Pediatrics: The field of medicine that is concerned with the health of infants, children, ...

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Pharmacist: A professional who fills prescriptions and, in the case of a compounding pharm...

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

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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 dev...

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Probability: The likelihood that something will happen. For example, a probability of less...

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Prostate: A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the blad...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary edema: Fluid in the lungs.

Radiate: To spread out from a central area. For example, sciatic pain may radiate outward ...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Reye syndrome: A sudden, sometimes fatal, disease of the brain (encephalopathy) with degen...

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Ringing in the ears: Medically called tinnitus, can be due to many causes including ear in...

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Runny nose: The production of extra mucus by the nose. Rhinorrhea is the medical term for ...

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Salicylic acid: A substance obtained from plants (white willow back and wintergreen leaves...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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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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Sinus: 1. An air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. The sinuses decr...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Sore throat: Pain in the throat. Sore throat may be caused by many different causes, inclu...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Strep: Very commonly used shortened form of Streptococcus, a very common and import...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Symptomatic treatment: Therapy that eases the symptoms without addressing the basic cause ...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

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

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Taste: A perception that results from stimulation of a gustatory nerve. Taste belongs to t...

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

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Toothache: Pain in the tooth or gum. The most common cause of a toothache is a cavity or a...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Upper respiratory infection: An infection of the upper part of the respiratory system whic...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urticaria: Another name for hives. Raised, itchy areas of skin that are usually a sign of ...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prev...

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

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