- Plural of medication
Medication, also referred to as medicine, is usually a drug or any other substance used to prevent or cure disease or to relieve pain, anxiety or any form of perceived discomfort, such as hunger. Medication is often used to mean the act of administering medicines or drugs. Other synonyms include pharmacotherapy, pharmacotherapeutics, drug treatment. Drug treatment, that is: The administration of drugs with therapeutic intention, usually characterizes and distinguishes the practice of Medicine (and the Medical Specialties) from the art of Surgery (and its derived Surgical Specialties). This practical (more than theoretical) distintcion if deeply rooted in the History of Medicine. The science of administering drugs to humans in the clinical setting is termed clinical pharmacology. The emphasis on drug treatment plays an essential role in distinguishing medical from surgical practice.
ClassificationMedication can be usually classified in various ways, e.g. by its chemical properties, mode of administration, or biological system affected. An elaborate and widely used classification system is the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System (ATC system).
Types of medicines:
For the cardiovascular system
- General: beta-receptor blocker, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, cardiac glycosides, antiarrhythmics, nitrate, antianginals, vasoconstrictor, vasodilator, peripheral activator
- Affecting Blood pressure: ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, alpha blocker
- Coagulation: anticoagulant, heparin, antiplatelet drug, fibrinolytic, anti-hemophilic factor, haemostatic drugs
- Atherosclerosis/cholesterol agents: hypolipidaemic agents, statins.
For the central nervous systemsee also Psychiatric medication
hypnotic, anaesthetics, antipsychotic, antidepressant (including tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitor, lithium salt, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), anti-emetic, anticonvulsant and antiepileptic, anxiolytic, barbiturate, movement disorder drug, stimulant (including amphetamines), benzodiazepine, cyclopyrrolone, dopamine antagonist, antihistamine, cholinergic, anticholinergic, emetic, cannabinoids, 5-HT antagonist
The main classes of painkillers are NSAIDs, opioids and various orphans such as paracetamol, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.
NSAIDs (including COX-2 selective inhibitors), muscle relaxant, neuromuscular drug anticholinesterase
For the eye
- General: adrenergic neurone blocker, astringent, ocular lubricant
- Diagnostic: topical anesthetics, sympathomimetics, parasympatholytics, mydriatics, cycloplegics
- Anti-bacterial: antibiotics, topical antibiotics, sulfa drugs, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones
- Anti-fungal: imidazoles, polyenes
- Anti-inflammatory: NSAIDs, corticosteroids
- Anti-allergy: mast cell inhibitors
- Anti-glaucoma: adrenergic agonists, beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors/hyperosmotics, cholinergics, miotics, parasympathomimetics, prostaglandin agonists/prostaglandin inhibitors. nitroglycerin
For the ear, nose and oropharynxsympathomimetic, antihistamine, anticholinergic, NSAIDs, steroid, antiseptic, local anesthetic, antifungal, cerumenolyti
For the respiratory systembronchodilator, NSAIDs, anti-allergic, antitussive, mucolytic, decongestantcorticosteroid, beta-receptor antagonist, anticholinergic, steroid
For endocrine problemsandrogen, antiandrogen, gonadotropin, corticosteroid, growth hormone, insulin, antidiabetic (sulfonylurea, biguanide/metformin, thiazolidinedione, insulin), thyroid hormones, antithyroid drugs, calcitonin, diphosponate, vasopressin analogues
For the reproductive system or urinary systemantifungal, alkalising agent, quinolones, antibiotic, cholinergic, anticholinergic, anticholinesterase, antispasmodic, 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, selective alpha-1 blocker, sildenafil, fertility medication
NSAIDs, anticholinergic, haemostatic drug, antifibrinolytic, Hormone Replacement Therapy, bone regulator, beta-receptor agonist, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, LHRH gamolenic acid, gonadotropin release inhibitor, progestogen, dopamine agonist, oestrogen, prostaglandin, gonadorelin, clomiphene, tamoxifen, Diethylstilbestrol
For the skinemollient, anti-pruritic, antifungal, disinfectant, scabicide, pediculicide, tar products, vitamin A derivatives, vitamin D analogue, keratolytic, abrasive, systemic antibiotic, topical antibiotic, hormones, desloughing agent, exudate absorbent, fibrinolytic, proteolytic, sunscreen, antiperspirant, corticosteroid
For infections and infestationsantibiotic, antifungal, antileprotic, antituberculous drug, antimalarial, anthelmintic, amoebicide, antiviral, antiprotozoal
For nutritiontonic, iron preparation, electrolyte, parenteral nutritional supplement, vitamins, anti-obesity drug, anabolic drug, haematopoietic drug, food product drug
For neoplastic disorderscytotoxic drug, sex hormones, aromatase inhibitor, somatostatin inhibitor, recombinant interleukins, G-CSF, erythropoietin
For diagnosticscontrast media
For euthanasiaAn euthanaticum is used for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, see also barbiturates.
Euthanasia is not permitted by law in many countries, and consequently medicines will not be licenesed for this use in those countries.
Legal considerationsMedications may be divided into over-the-counter drugs (OTC) which may be available without special restrictions, and prescription only medicine (POM), which must be prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner. The precise distinction between OTC and prescription depends on the legal jurisdiction.
The International Narcotics Control Board of the United Nations imposes a world law of prohibition of certain medications. They publish a lengthy list of chemicals and plants whose trade and consumption (where applicable) is forbidden. OTC medications are sold without restriction as they are considered safe enough that most people will not hurt themselves accidentally by taking it as instructed. Many countries, such as the United Kingdom have a third category of pharmacy medicines which can only be sold in registered pharmacies, by or under the supervision of a pharmacist.
Other/related topicsPolypharmacy: suggests that multiple use of prescribed and non-prescribed medications, (use of 5 or more), can have adverse effects on the recipient.
Zoopharmacognosy: Animal usage of drugs and non-foods.
Blockbuster drugA blockbuster drug is a drug generating more than $1 billion of revenue for its owner each year. The search for blockbusters has been the foundation of the R&D strategy adopted by big pharmaceutical companies, but this looks set to change. New advances in genomics, and the promise of personalized medicine, are likely to fragment the pharmaceutical market.
A recent report from Urch Publishing estimated that about one third of the pharma market by value is accounted for by blockbusters. About 100 products are blockbusters. The top seller was Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering medication marketed by Pfizer with sales of $12.2 billion.
Leading blockbuster drugs
- WHO Model List of Essential Medicines
- Database of registered pharmaceuticals in Hong Kong
- Consumer drug information from the FDA
- Innovation's list of important pharmaceutical discoverers since 1987
- IPHA Medicines Compendium
- www.medicines.org.uk Up-to-date medicines information from the pharmaceutical industry and other sources
- The Pharma Guide of Pakistan
- World Pharma News
medications in Afrikaans: Geneesmiddel
medications in Tosk Albanian: Medikament
medications in Arabic: دواء
medications in Asturian: Melecina
medications in Bosnian: Lijek
medications in Catalan: Medicament
medications in Czech: Léčivo
medications in Danish: Lægemiddel
medications in German: Medikament
medications in Spanish: Medicamento
medications in Esperanto: Kuracilo
medications in Basque: Farmako
medications in Persian: دارو
medications in French: Médicament
medications in Korean: 의약품
medications in Ido: Medikamento
medications in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Medicamento
medications in Italian: Farmaco
medications in Hebrew: תרופה
medications in Lithuanian: Vaistas
medications in Hungarian: Gyógyszer
medications in Dutch: Geneesmiddel
medications in Norwegian: Legemiddel
medications in Polish: Farmakoterapia
medications in Portuguese: Medicamento
medications in Quechua: Hampi
medications in Russian: Лекарственные средства
medications in Sicilian: Fàrmacu
medications in Simple English: Medication
medications in Slovak: Farmakoterapia
medications in Slovenian: Zdravilo
medications in Serbian: Лек
medications in Finnish: Lääke
medications in Swedish: Läkemedel
medications in Thai: ยา
medications in Turkish: İlaç
medications in Yiddish: מעדיצין
medications in Chinese: 藥物治療