Medication, also referred to as medicine, can be loosely defined as any substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. [ [ US Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, SEC. 210., (g)(1)(B).] Accessed 17 August, 2008.] [ [ Directive 2004/27/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 amending Directive 2001/83/EC on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use. Article 1.] Published March 31, 2004. Accessed 17 August, 2008.] Other synonyms include pharmacotherapy, pharmacotherapeutics, and drug treatment.


Medication 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:

#Antipyretics : reducing fever (pyrexia)
#Analgesics : painkillers
#Anti-malaria drugs : treating malaria
#Antibiotics : inhibiting germ growth
#Antiseptics : prevention of germ growth near burns, cuts and wounds

Types of medications (type of pharmacotherapy)

For the gastrointestinal tract or digestive system

* Upper digestive tract: antacids, reflux suppressants, antiflatulents, antidopaminergics, proton pump inhibitors, H2-receptor antagonists, cytoprotectants, prostaglandin analogues
* Lower digestive tract: laxatives, antispasmodics, antidiarrhoeals, bile acid sequestrants, opioids

For the cardiovascular system

* General: beta-receptor blocker or beta 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 system

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

For pain & consciousness (analgesic drugs)

The main classes of painkillers are NSAIDs, opioids and various orphans such as paracetamol, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

For musculo-skeletal disorders

NSAIDs (including COX-2 selective inhibitors), muscle relaxant, neuromuscular drug

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-viral:
* 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 oropharynx

sympathomimetic, antihistamine, anticholinergic, NSAIDs, steroid, antiseptic, local anesthetic, antifungal, cerumenolyti

For the respiratory system

bronchodilator, NSAIDs, anti-allergic, antitussive, mucolytic, decongestant
corticosteroid, beta-receptor antagonist, anticholinergic, steroid

For endocrine problems

androgen, 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 system

antifungal, alkalising agent, quinolones, antibiotic, cholinergic, anticholinergic, anticholinesterase, antispasmodic, 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, selective alpha-1 blocker, sildenafil, fertility medication

For contraception

*Hormonal contraception

For obstetrics and gynecology

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 skin

emollient, 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 infestations

antibiotic, antifungal, antileprotic, antituberculous drug, antimalarial, anthelmintic, amoebicide, antiviral, antiprotozoal

For immunology

vaccine, immunoglobulin, immunosuppressant, interferon, monoclonal antibody

For allergic disorders

anti-allergic, antihistamine, NSAIDs

For nutrition

tonic, iron preparation, electrolyte, parenteral nutritional supplement, vitamins, anti-obesity drug, anabolic drug, haematopoietic drug, food product drug

For neoplastic disorders

cytotoxic drug, sex hormones, aromatase inhibitor, somatostatin inhibitor, recombinant interleukins, G-CSF, erythropoietin

For diagnostics

contrast media

For euthanasia

An 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 considerations

Medications 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.

For patented medications, countries may have certain mandatory licensing programs which compel, in certain situations, a medication's owner to contract with other agents to manufacture the drug. Such programs may deal with the contingency of a lack of medication in the event of a serious epidemic of disease, or may be part of efforts to ensure that disease treating drugs, such as AIDS drugs, are available to countries which cannot afford the drug owner's price.

Other/related topics

Polypharmacy: 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 drug

A 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

See also

* List of drugs

* Bioburden
* Child-resistant packaging
* Compliance
* Herbalism
* Medical prescription
* Medicinal chemistry
* Medicine
* Nocebo
* Patient safety
* Pharmaceutical company
* Pharmacology
* Placebo
* Prescription drug
* Use of biotechnology in pharmaceutical manufacturing
* Vaccine


External links

* [ DrugBank advanced and free drug database]
* [ WHO Model List of Essential Medicines]
* [ Database of registered pharmaceuticals in Hong Kong]
* [ Consumer drug information from the FDA]
* [ IPHA Medicines Compendium]
* [] Up-to-date medicines information from the pharmaceutical industry and other sources
* [ The Pharma Guide of Pakistan]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • médication — [ medikasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1314; lat. medicatio ♦ Emploi de médicaments dans un but thérapeutique déterminé. ⇒ thérapeutique; traitement. Médication substitutive. Médication sans prescription. ⇒ automédication. ● médication nom féminin (latin… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • medication — UK US /ˌmedɪˈkeɪʃən/ noun [C or U] ► drugs that are used in the treatment of illness or injury: »The condition can be treated effectively with medication. »over the counter/prescription medications take/need/change medication »In many cases,… …   Financial and business terms

  • Medication — Datos generales Origen  Estados Unidos, Los Ángeles …   Wikipedia Español

  • medication — (n.) early 15c., medical treatment of a disease or wound, from M.Fr. médication and directly from L. medicationem (nom. medicatio) healing, cure, from pp. stem of medicare, medicari to medicate, heal, cure (poetic and Late Latin) from medicus… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Medication — Med i*ca tion, [L. medicatio: cf. F. m[ e]dication.] The act or process of medicating. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • medication — index drug, narcotic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • medication — ► NOUN 1) a medicine or drug. 2) treatment with medicines …   English terms dictionary

  • medication — [med΄i kā′shən] n. [L medicatio] 1. a medicating or being medicated 2. a medicine; substance for curing or healing, or for relieving pain …   English World dictionary

  • medication — n. 1) to take (a) medication 2) to administer, dispense, give (a) medication 3) to order; prescribe (a) medication 4) to put smb. on medication 5) to discontinue (a) medication 6) to take smb. off medication 7) (an) effective; mild; potent,… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • medication — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ prescribed, prescription ▪ non prescription (esp. AmE), over the counter ▪ regular ▪ antidepressant, anti inflammatory …   Collocations dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”