Asthma Medications Glossary of Terms

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

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

Active tuberculosis: See: Tuberculosis, active.

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

See the entire definition of Acute

Adverse effect: A harmful or abnormal result. An adverse effect may be caused by administr...

See the entire definition of Adverse effect

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

See the entire definition of Airway

Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. C...

See the entire definition of Airway obstruction

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

See the entire definition of Allergen

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

See the entire definition of Allergic reaction

Allergic rhinitis: Medical term for hay fever, an allergic reaction that mimics a chronic ...

See the entire definition of Allergic rhinitis

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

See the entire definition of Allergy

Anticholinergic: Opposing the actions of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Anticholinerg...

See the entire definition of Anticholinergic

Aspartame: A man-made sweetener with almost no calories used in place of sugar.

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

See the entire definition of Aspirin

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

See the entire definition of Asthma

Asthmatic: 1. Pertaining to asthma as, for example, asthmatic bronchitis.
...

See the entire definition of Asthmatic back to top

Atopy: The genetic tendency to develop the classic allergic diseases -- atopic dermatitis,...

See the entire definition of Atopy

Beta-agonist: A bronchodilator medicine that opens the airways by relaxing the muscles aro...

See the entire definition of Beta-agonist

Blood glucose: The main sugar that the body makes from the food in the diet. Glucose is ca...

See the entire definition of Blood glucose

Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

See the entire definition of Breathing

Bronchi: The plural of bronchus.

Bronchiolitis: Inflammation of the bronchioles, usually due to viral infections.

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

See the entire definition of Caffeine

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

  1. In medici...

See the entire definition of Capsule

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

See the entire definition of Cell

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

See the entire definition of Chest

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

See the entire definition of Chest pain

Chickenpox: A highly infectious viral disease also known medically as varicella -- in many...

See the entire definition of Chickenpox

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

See the entire definition of Chronic

Corticosteroid: Any of the steroid hormones made by the outer portion (cortex) of the adre...

See the entire definition of Corticosteroid back to top

Critical care: The specialized care of patients whose conditions are life-threatening and ...

See the entire definition of Critical care

Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

See the entire definition of Diabetes

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

See the entire definition of Dizziness

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

See the entire definition of Dry mouth

Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing; shortness of breath. Dyspnea is a sign of serious...

See the entire definition of Dyspnea

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

See the entire definition of Ear

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

See the entire definition of Earache

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

See the entire definition of Edema

Epilepsy (seizure disorder): When nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses...

See the entire definition of Epilepsy

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

See the entire definition of Erythromycin

Exercise-induced asthma: Asthma triggered by vigorous physical activity. It primarily affe...

See the entire definition of Exercise-induced asthma

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

See the entire definition of Fever

Fungal: Pertaining to a fungus. For example, a fungal skin infection.

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

See the entire definition of Generic

Glaucoma: A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eyes rises becaus...

See the entire definition of Glaucoma back to top

Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

See the entire definition of Glucose

Hay fever: A seasonal allergy to airborne particles characterized by itchy eyes, runny nos...

See the entire definition of Hay fever

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

See the entire definition of Headache

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

See the entire definition of Heart

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

See the entire definition of Heart disease

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

See the entire definition of Heartburn

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

See the entire definition of Histamine

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

See the entire definition of Hives

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

See the entire definition of Hypertension

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

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

See the entire definition of Immune system

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

See the entire definition of Immunoglobulin

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

See the entire definition of Immunoglobulin E

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

See the entire definition of Immunology

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

See the entire definition of Infection back to top

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

See the entire definition of Inflammation

Inflammatory response: A fundamental type of response by the body to disease and injury, a...

See the entire definition of Inflammatory response

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

See the entire definition of Insomnia

Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar gluco...

See the entire definition of Insulin

Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment ...

See the entire definition of Internal medicine

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

See the entire definition of Itching

Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

See the entire definition of Leg

Leukotriene: One of a group of chemicals produced by the body that accompanies inflammatio...

See the entire definition of Leukotriene

Lower leg: The lower leg is the bottom segment of the leg: the part below the knee.

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

See the entire definition of Lungs

Mast cell: A granulocyte found in connective tissue whose normal function is unknown but t...

See the entire definition of Mast cell

Measles: An acute and highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, runny nose,...

See the entire definition of Measles

Metered dose inhaler: See: Metered-dose inhaler.

Mold: One of a large group of fungi that can proliferate on food or in moist areas. Househ...

See the entire definition of Mold

Monoclonal: Derived from a single cell and cells identical to that cell.

back to top

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

See the entire definition of Mouth

Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

See the entire definition of Mucous

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

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

See the entire definition of Muscle

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

See the entire definition of Nausea

Nebulizer: A device for administering a medication by spraying a fine mist. Also known as ...

See the entire definition of Nebulizer

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

See the entire definition of Nose

Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

See the entire definition of Obstruction

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

See the entire definition of Onset

Ophthalmologist: A physician who practices ophthalmology.

Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

See the entire definition of Osteoporosis

Ozone: A form of oxygen that consists of three atoms of oxygen, in contrast to normal atmo...

See the entire definition of Ozone

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

See the entire definition of Pain

Peptic ulcer: An ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Peptic ulcers...

See the entire definition of Peptic ulcer

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

See the entire definition of Pharmacist back to top

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

See the entire definition of Pharmacy

Phenylalanine: An essential amino acid. (The human body cannot make it so it is essentia...

See the entire definition of Phenylalanine

Phenylketonuria: The inherited inability to metabolize (process) the essential amino acid ...

See the entire definition of Phenylketonuria

PKU: Short for phenylketonuria. See: Phenylketonuria.

Placebo: A "sugar pill" or any dummy medication or treatment.

Pollen: Small, light, dry protein particles from trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds that m...

See the entire definition of Pollen

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

See the entire definition of Prescription

Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulmonary medicine: The branch of medicine that deals with the causes, diagnosis, preventi...

See the entire definition of Pulmonary medicine

Rad: Radiation absorbed dose, a measurement for a dose of ionizing radiation.

Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory therapy: Exercises and treatments that help patients recover lung function, su...

See the entire definition of Respiratory therapy

Rhinitis: Irritation of the nose.

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

See the entire definition of Runny nose

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

See the entire definition of Seizure back to top

Seizure disorders: One of a great many medical conditions that are characterized by epis...

See the entire definition of Seizure disorders

Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

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

See the entire definition of Sodium

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

See the entire definition of Sore

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

See the entire definition of Sore throat

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

See the entire definition of Stomach

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

See the entire definition of Systemic

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...

See the entire definition of Throat

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

See the entire definition of Thyroid

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

See the entire definition of Tongue

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

See the entire definition of Toxicity

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

See the entire definition of Tremor

Tuberculosis: A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacterium ...

See the entire definition of Tuberculosis

Twitching: : Involuntary contractions of groups of muscle fibers. Also known as fasciculat...

See the entire definition of Twitching back to top

Ulcer: A lesion that is eroding away the skin or mucous membrane. Ulcers can have various ...

See the entire definition of Ulcer

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

See the entire definition of Viral

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

See the entire definition of Viruses

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

See the entire definition of Warfarin

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

See the entire definition of Wheezing back to top







Medical Dictionary