Antidepressants Glossary of Terms

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

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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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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

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Alprazolam: A benzodiazepine sedative that causes dose-related depression of the central n...

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Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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Amphetamine: A drug that has a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that can be ...

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Anorexia: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion...

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Anorexia nervosa: See Anorexia.

Antidepressant: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Antifungal: A medication that limits or prevents the growth of yeasts and other fungal org...

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

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Atypical: Unusual, or not fitting a single diagnostic
category.

Benzodiazepines: A class of drugs that act as tranquilizers and are commonly used in the t...

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Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depr...

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

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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

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Bulimia: Also called bulimia nervosa. An eating disorder characterized by episodes of secr...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:

  1. In medici...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Cerebrovascular: Pertaining to the blood vessels and, especially, the arteries that supply...

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Cerebrovascular disease: Disease of the blood vessels and, especially, the arteries that s...

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

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Clinical depression: Depressed mood that meets the DSM-IV criteria for a depressive disord...

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Cocaine: A substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant that is a bitter, addictive...

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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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Cymbalta: Brand name for duloxetine hydrochloride, a drug approved by the FDA to treat maj...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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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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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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Dopamine: An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain.

Dry mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to...

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Duloxetine: See: Cymbalta.

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Dysthymia: A type of depression involving long-term, chronic symptoms that are not disabli...

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Ejaculation: Ejection of sperm and seminal fluid during an orgasm in a male.

Elavil: See: Amitriptyline.

Endep: See: Amitriptyline.

Enzyme: Proteins that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An e...

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Ephedra: A medicinal herb, known scientifically as Ephedra sinica and Ephedra equisetina, ...

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Epinephrine: Also known as adrenaline. A substance produced by the medulla inside of the a...

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Erythromycin: Erythromycin is a common antibiotic for treating bacterial infection. Sold...

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Eskalith: See: Lithium.

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

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

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

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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Gastric: Having to do with the stomach.

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Ginseng: Ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Today, ginseng"...

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Glaucoma: A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises to a lev...

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Grief: The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death...

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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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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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

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Heredity: The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to child.

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

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

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Hypertensive: Having abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension). See also: Hypotensive;...

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Hypertensive crisis: A severe and potentially life-threatening increase in blood pressure ...

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Hyperthyroid: Having an excessive amount of thyroid hormone resulting from an overactive t...

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Hypotension: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individual in a ...

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Imitrex: Brand name for sumatriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

Impotence: A common problem among men characterized by the consistent inability to sustai...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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

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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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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Lipitor: See: Atorvastatin.

Lithium: A naturally occurring salt that, in purified form, is used to treat certain psych...

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Lithobid: See: Lithium.

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

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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Low blood sugar: A low blood level of the sugar glucose. Also called hypoglycemia.

Major depression: A disease with certain characteristic signs and symptoms that interferes...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Mania: An abnormally elevated mood state characterized by such symptoms as inappropriate...

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Manic: In a state of mania.

MAOI: Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor.

Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Migraine headache: The most common type of vascular headache involving abnormal sensitivit...

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

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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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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Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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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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Neuroleptic: A term that refers to the effects of antipsychotic drugs on a patient, especi...

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Neurotransmitter: A chemical that is released from a nerve cell which thereby transmits an...

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Orgasm: A series of muscle contractions in the genital region that is accompanied by sudde...

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

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

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Photosensitivity: Oversensitivity of skin to light. Photosensitivity can be a side effect ...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Public health: The approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community...

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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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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Renal: Having to do with the kidney. For example, renal cancer is cancer of the kidneys.

Reuptake: The reabsorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced an...

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Sedative: A drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep. Sedatives ge...

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Seizure: Uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which may produce a physical conv...

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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor: A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is...

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

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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

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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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SSRI: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, one of a family of antidepressant medication...

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

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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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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is...

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Suicidal: Pertaining to suicide. the taking of ones own life. As in a suicidal gesture, su...

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Sumatriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name I...

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Sunburn: Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that develops in response to exposure to u...

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Sunscreen: A substance that blocks the effect of the sun's harmful rays. Using lotions tha...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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

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

Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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

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Tremor: An abnormal, repetitive shaking movement of the body. Tremors have many causes and...

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Tricyclic antidepressants: One of a class of medications used to treat depression. The tri...

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Tryptophan: An amino acid, one of the 20 building blocks of protein. A dietary essential a...

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

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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Xanax: See: Alprazolam.

Yogurt: A dairy product made by fermented milk with one or more bacterial cultures. It has...

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Zolmitriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name ...

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Zomig: Brand name for zolmitriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

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