I
antirheumatic drugs
COMMON DRUGS
co rtico steroids
• Dexamethasone
• Hydrocortisone •Methylprednisolone
• Prednisolone •Triamcinolone
gold-based drugs
•Auranofin •Sodium
aurothiomalate
im m unosuppressants
•Azathioprine
• Cyclophosphamide •Ciclosporin
• Methotrexate
nsaids
•Aspirin •Celecoxib •Diclofenac
• Etodolac •Felbinac •Ibuprofen •Ketoprofen
• Mefenamic acid •Meloxicam •Naproxen
• Piroxicam
others
•Chloroquine •Hydroxychloroquine
• Penicillamine •Sulfasalazine
A group of drugs that are used to treat
rheumatoid arthritis
and types of arthritis
that are the result of other
autoimmune
disorders
(in which the immune system
attacks the body’s own tissues) such
as systemic
lupus erythematosus.
Anti-
rheumatic
drugs
affect
the
disease
process and may, therefore, limit joint
damage, unlike NSAIDs (see
nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs),
which
only
relieve pain and stiffness. The most
commonly used antirheumatic drugs
are
corticosteroid drugs
,
immunosuppres-
sant drugs,
chloroquine,
penicillamine,
gold,
and
sulfasalazine.
HOW THEY WORK
Different types of antirheumatic drug
work in different ways, by suppressing
either the production or the activity of
lymphocytes
(white blood cells).All anti-
rheumatics reduce
inflammation
caused
by the autoimmune reaction and slow
down the degeneration of the cartilage
that lines the joints.
SIDE EFFECTS
Many antirheumatic drugs can have seri-
ous side effects, and treatment, other
than with NSAIDs, is therefore given only
under specialist medical supervision.
antiseptics
Chemicals that are applied to the skin in
order to destroy bacteria and other
microorganisms,
thereby
preventing
sepsis (infection). Antisepsis (the use of
antiseptics to prevent infection) is not
the same as asepsis, which is the cre-
ation of a germ-free environment (see
aseptic technique).
Antiseptics are milder
than
disinfectants,
which decontaminate
inanimate objects but are too strong to
be used on the body.
Antiseptic fluids are generally used
for bathing wounds; antiseptic creams
are applied to wounds before they are
dressed. Common antiseptics are
chlor-
hexidine, cetrimide, hexachlorophene,
and
compounds containing
iodine.
antiserum
A
preparation
containing
antibodies
(proteins manufactured by the immune
system, see
antibody)
that combine with
specific
antigens
(foreign proteins), usu-
ally
components
of microorganisms,
leading to the deactivation or destruc-
tion of the microorganisms.
Antiserum is usually used, along with
immunization,
as an emergency treat-
ment when an individual has been
exposed to a dangerous infection, such
as
rabies,
and has not previously been
immunized against it. The antiserum
helps
to
provide
some
immediate
protection against the infective micro-
organisms
while
full
immunity
is
developing. Such measures are not as
effective in preventing disease as earlier
(pre-exposure) immunization, however.
antisocial personality disorder
Impulsive, destructive behaviour that
often disregards the feelings and rights
of others. People who have an antisocial
personality lack a sense of guilt and
cannot tolerate frustration. They may
have problems with relationships and
are frequently in trouble with the law.
Behaviour therapy
and various forms
of
psychotherapy
may help to improve
social integration. In general, the effects
of the condition decrease with age.
antispasmodic drugs
COMMON DRUGS
• Atropine •Dicycloverine •Hyoscine
• Mebeverine
A group of drugs that relax spasm in
smooth
(involuntary)
muscle in
the
wall of the intestine or bladder. Anti-
spasmodic
drugs
are
used
in
the
treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
and irritable bladder.
HOW THEY WORK
Some
antispasmodic
drugs
have
an
anticholinergic
action
(that
is,
they
work by blocking the action of
acetyl-
choline,
a
neurotransmitter
chemical
released from nerve endings that stimu-
lates muscle contraction). Others work
by direct action on smooth muscle.
SIDE EFFECTS
Possible side effects of antispasmodic
drugs include a dry mouth, blurred
vision, and difficulty in passing urine.
(See also
anticholinergic drugs.)
ANTIVENOM
antithyroid drugs
COMMON DRUGS
A
• Carbimazole •Iodine •Propylthiouracil
A group of drugs that are used to treat
hyperthyroidism,
in which the thyroid
gland is overactive. They may be used as
the sole treatment for hyperthyroidism
or may be given prior to thyroid surgery.
HOW THEY WORK
Carbimazole
and
propylthiouracil
work pri-
marily by interfering with production of
thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland.
Radioactive iodine works by destroying
part of the thyroid tissue in people with
hormone-secreting thyroid nodules.
SIDE EFFECTS
Side effects of carbimazole and propyl-
thiouracil include nausea, headaches,
mild gastrointestinal disturbances, dizzi-
ness,
joint
pain,
itching,
and
rash.
Carbimazole can suppress white blood
cell production. Iodine can cause hyper-
sensitivity reactions resembling coryza
(nasal symptoms of the common cold).
antitoxin
Any of a variety of commercially pre-
pared substances containing
antibodies
(proteins manufactured by the
immune
system
)
that can combine with and
neutralize the effect of a specific
toxin
that has been released into the blood-
stream by particular bacteria (such as
those that cause
tetanus
and
diphtheria
).
Antitoxins are usually given by injec-
tion into a muscle. Occasionally, an
antitoxin may cause an allergic reaction
(see
allergy);
rarely, it may cause
anaphy-
lactic shock
(a severe allergic reaction
requiring emergency treatment).
antitussive drugs
Drugs that suppress or relieve a
cough
(see
cough remedies).
antivenom
A specific treatment for bites or stings
inflicted by venomous animals such as
snakes, spiders, and scorpions.
Antivenom is prepared by the inocu-
lation of animals, such as horses, with
venom from a particular poisonous ani-
mal, thereby provoking the production
of
antibodies
(proteins manufactured by
the
immune system
) that neutralize the
poisons in the venom. A preparation of
these antibodies can be produced from
samples of the animal’s blood.
Antivenoms are given by intravenous
injection and may cause allergic reac-
tions (see
allergy).
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