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Flashcards in Drug Classes Deck (47):

5-alpha-reductase inhibitors

Block the action of 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. May be used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and androgenic alopecia. They are not approved for the prevention of prostate cancer.



Anti-inflammatory agents used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, some forms of arthritis, ulcerative colitis, proctitis, and Crohn's disease.


5-HT3 receptor antagonists

(serotonin receptor antagonists or serotonin blockers)

Used for the prevention and treatment of nausea and vomiting, particularly that caused by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or postoperatively. 5-HT3 is an abbreviation for serotonin that may also be written as 5-hydroxytryptamine.


ACE inhibitors

(angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors)

Vasodilators used in the treatment of conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, or kidney disease in people with diabetes.



Relieve pain without loss of consciousness. Central nervous system analgesics act in the brain or spinal cord to produce effects, such as opioids. Peripherally acting analgesics act outside of the brain and spinal cord and include NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors.


androgens and anabolic steroids

Include testosterone and dihydrotestosterone and other agents that behave like these sex hormones. They stimulate the development of male sexual characteristics (such as deepening of voice and growth of beard) and development of male sex organs.

Anabolic steroids stimulate growth in many types of tissues, especially bone and muscle. Anabolic effects also include increased production of red blood cells.

Androgens and anabolic steroids are used as replacement therapy to treat delayed puberty in adolescent boys, hypogonadism and impotence in men, and to treat breast cancer in women. They are also used to treat anemia, osteoporosis, weight loss and other conditions with hormonal imbalance.



Act on the brain to suppress appetite.



Neutralize acid in the stomach to relieve symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, or dyspepsia.



(androgen antagonists, androgen receptor blockers, testosterone blockers)

Counteract the effects of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone to treat various conditions and disorders; including prostate cancer, precocious puberty in young males, benign prostatic hyperplasia, androgenic alopecia; and sexual disorders, such as hyper-sexuality, in men. In women, they may be used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome, hirsutism, amenorrhea, acne, and several other conditions.



(blood thinners)

Reduce the ability of the blood to clot and used to treat conditions with a high risk of blood clots; such as atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, and stroke.



Reduce the severity and frequency of seizures and are typically used in people with epilepsy or at high risk of having another seizure; however, they may be used to treat other conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, nerve pain, and migraine.



Used in the treatment of depression; relieving symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, sleep problems, and suicidal thoughts.


antidiabetic agents

Medicine involved in the treatment of diabetes, achieving normoglycemia and relieving symptoms such as thirst, excessive urination, and ketoacidosis. Also prevent or slow the development of long-term complications of the disease, such as nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. They include alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, amylin analogs, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors, incretin mimetics, insulin, meglitinides, non-sulfonylureas, SGLT-2 inhibitors, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones.



Used to stop or slow diarrhea, not eliminate the cause of it.


antidiuretic hormone


Increases the re-absorption of water and is also a powerful vasoconstrictor.



Drugs, chelating substances, or chemicals that neutralize the effects of another drug or a poison.


antifungal agents

(antimycotic agents)

Kill or inactivate fungi and are used to treat fungal infections (including yeast infections).


antigout agents

(antihyperuricemic agents)

Used to either correct over-production or underexcretion of uric acid.



Used to treat the symptoms of an allergic reaction; such as edema, itch, inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, or watery eyes; as well as colds, hay fever, hives, and insect bites/stings. Some may also be helpful in reducing anxiety, inducing sleep, or at preventing/treating motion sickness.


antihyperlipidemic agents

Promote reduction of lipid levels in the blood, helping to prevent both the primary and secondary symptoms of coronary heart disease.



Used in cancer chemotherapy by interfering with one or more enzymes or their reactions that are necessary for DNA synthesis, thereby affecting cancer cell replication.


antineoplastic detoxifying agents

Used during chemotherapy to protect organs or organs systems which may be damaged by radiation or by a particular antineoplastic agent used during chemotherapy.


antineoplastic interferons

Used to treat certain types of cancers and viral infections by enhancing the immune system in many ways. Used as part of the treatment for cancers like angioblastoma, chronic myelogenous leukemia and hairy cell leukemia, certain types of lymphomas, AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma and malignant melanomas. They are also used in the treatment of viral infections such as hepatitis B and C, and human papillomavirus.



(anticancer drugs)

Antiproliferative drugs that prevent the development and spread of neoplastic cells. They also affect rapidly dividing normal cells, therefore are likely to suppress the bone marrow, suppress growth, impair healing, cause sterility and cause hair loss.


antiparkinson agents

aim to replace dopamine either by drugs that release dopamine or those that mimic the action of dopamine. Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of movement that occurs due to dopamine deficiency in the basal ganglia. Antiparkinson agents attempt to replace dopamine and treat or halt the symptoms such as tremor, hypokinesia, and so on.


antiplatelet agents

Reduce platelet aggregation and inhibit the formation of blood clots, playing a major role in the treatment and prevention of myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis, and ischemic stroke.



Used to treat psoriasis.



(typical antipsychotics, first generation antipsychotics)

Used to treat symptoms of psychosis such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, or confused thoughts. Used in the treatment of schizophrenia, severe depression and severe anxiety. Also useful at stabilizing episodes of mania in people with Bipolar Disorder.



Used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and can modify the course of the disease.


disease-modifying rheumatoid arthritis drugs


Used to slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and help with pain, inflammation, and stiffness.




Chemical agents that destroy microorganisms that cause disease.


antithyroid agents

Prevent or suppress the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones. Used to treat hyperthyroidism.



Agents that can neutralize the effects of toxins. Can be made by the same species or other organisms. Their blood is then extracted, purified, and injected into affected humans or animals.



Agents that can neutralize the effects of venoms. Produced by injecting a safe amount of that particular venom into an animal and once that animal makes antibodies against the venom, the blood is drawn, purified, and used to treat bites, etc. by the venomous organism.



(cough suppressants)

Used to suppress coughing.


antiviral agents

Used to inhibit production of viruses that cause disease. Most are only effective while the virus is replicating.



Medicines that work on the central nervous system to relieve anxiety.



Medicines that work on the central nervous system to aid sleep.



Medicines that work on the central nervous system to have a calming effect.


aromatase inhibitors

Medicines that work by blocking the enzyme aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens into estrogen. Used in the treatment of breast cancer to reduce levels of circulating estrogen. Unable to prevent the ovaries from making estrogen, which means that they are only used to treat breast cancer in postmenopausal women.


atypical antipsychotics

(second generation antipsychotics)

Used in the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychoses. Less likely to produce extrapyramidal side effects (drug-induced movement disorders that include dystonia, Parkinson's-like symptoms, restlessness, rigidity, tardive dyskinesia, tremor, and other unwanted movements). More effective at treating the negative symptoms of schizophrenia such as lack of motivation and social withdrawal, and are more effective in treatment-resistant patients.


azole antifungal agents

Contain an azole ring and inhibit the growth of a wide range of fungi. Used to treat fungal infections of the body and skin, including athlete's foot, onychomycosis, ringworm, and vaginal candidiasis.



Enhance the action of GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits the activity of nerve cells in the brain. Historically used in the treatment of anxiety, epilepsy, as anesthetics, and to induce sleep. Some are still used during surgery or to treat all types of seizures except absence seizures.


BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors

Used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia.


beta-adrenergic blocking agents

(beta blockers)

Used to treat angina, control abnormal heart rhythms, and to reduce high blood pressure. They may be used following a myocardial infarction to improve survival rates. May cause bronchial constriction.


bile acid sequestrants

Used to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.


proton pump inhibitors


Reduce the production of acid by the stomach by irreversibly blocking the actions of an enzyme responsible for acid production, H+/K+ ATPase, located in the parietal cells in the stomach wall. This allows any ulcers present in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to heal and helps prevent new ulcers from forming. Also used to treat other gastrointestinal disorders characterized by excessive acid secretion.