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Flashcards in Key Terms 3 Deck (50):
1

barbiturates

a class of drugs that are chemical derivatives of barbituric acid. They can induce sedation and sleep

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benzodiazepines

a chemical category of drugs most frequently prescribed as sedative-hypnotic and anxiolytic drugs

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hypnotics

drugs that, when given at low to moderate dosages, calm or sooth the CNS without inducing sleep but when given at high dosages may cause sleep

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REM

Rapid Eye Movement sleep. One of the stages of the sleep cycle. Some of the characteristics of REM sleep are rapid movement of the eyes, vivid dreams and irregular breathing

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sedatives

drugs that have an inhibitory effect on the CNS to the degree that they reduce nervousness, excitability and irritability without causing sleep

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therapeutic index

the ratio between the toxic and therapeutic concentrations of a drug. If the index is low, the difference between the therapeutic and toxic drug concentrations is small and use of the drug is more hazardous

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Antiepileptic Drug (AED)

a substance that prevents or reduces the severity of epilepsy and different types of epileptic seizures, not just convulsive seizures

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autoinduction

a metabolic process that occurs when a drug increases its own metabolism over time, leading to lower than expected drug concentrations

9

convulsion

a type of seizure involving excessive stimulation of neurons in the brain and characterized by the spasmodic contraction of voluntary muscles

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epilepsy

general term for any of a group of neurologic disorders characterized by recurrent episodes of convulsive seizures, sensory disturbances, abnormal behavior, loss of consciousness or any combination of these

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seizure

excessive stimulation of neurons in the brain leading to a sudden burst of abnormal neuron activity that results in temporary changes in brain function
status epilepticus
a common seizure disorder characterized by generalized tonic-clonic convulsions that occur in succession

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tonic-clonic seizure

formerly called grand mal seizure, this type of epilepsy is characterized by a series of generalized movements of tonic (stiffening) and clonic (rapid, synchronized jerking) muscular contraction

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akinesia

reduction or lack of psychomotor activity of voluntary muscles

14

COMT inhibitor

Catechol - O - methyl transferase inhibitor. A class of indirect-acting dopaminergic drugs that work by inhibiting the enzyme COMT, which catalyzes the breakdown of dopamine

15

chorea

a condition characterized by involuntary, purposeless, rapid motions such as flexing and extending the fingers, raising and lowering the shoulders or grimacing. In some forms, the person is also irritable, emotionally unstable, weak, restless and fretful

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dopaminergic drugs

drugs used to replace the deficiency of dopamine at dopamine receptors in the nerve endings, especially in the brain when treating Parkinson’s disease (PD)

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dyskinesia

an impaired ability to execute voluntary movements

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dystonia

impaired or distorted voluntary movement due to a disorder of muscle tone. The condition commonly involves the head, neck and tongue and often occurs as an adverse effect of a medication

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endogenous

describes any substance produced by the body’s own natural biochemistry

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exogenous

describes any substance produced outside of the body that may be taken into the body

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on-off phenomenon

a common experience of patients being medicated for Parkinson’s disease in which they experience periods of greater symptomatic control (on time) alternating with periods of lesser symptomatic control (off time)

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Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

a slowly progressive, degenerative neurologic disorder characterized by resting tremor, pill-rolling of the fingers, masklike facies, shuffling gait, forward flexion of the trunk, loss of postural reflexes and muscle rigidity and weakness

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affective disorders

emotional disorders that are characterized by changes in mood

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akathisia

motor restlessness—a distressing experience of uncontrollable muscular movements that can occur as an adverse effect of many psychotropic medications

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antihistamine

a substance capable of blocking histamine receptors, reducing the physiologic and pharmacologic effects of histamine

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antipsychotic

of or pertaining to a medication that counteracts or diminishes symptoms of psychosis. An older term for such medications is neuroleptic

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anxiety

the unpleasant state of mind in which real or imagined dangers are anticipated and/or exaggerated

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anxiolytic

capable of reducing anxiety; usually said of a medication

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benzodiazepine

the most common group of psychotropic drugs currently prescribed to alleviate anxiety

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bipolar

a major psychologic disorder characterized by episodes of mania or hypomania, cycling with depression

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depression

an abnormal emotional state characterized by exaggerated feelings of sadness, melancholy, dejection, worthlessness, emptiness and hopelessness that are inappropriate and out of proportion to reality

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extrapyramidal symptoms

refers to symptoms arising adjacent to the pyrimidal portions of the brain. Such symptoms involve various motion disorders similar to Parkinson’s disease and are an adverse effect associated with use of various antipsychotic drugs

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GABA

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. An inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that functions to inhibit nerve transmission in the central nervous system

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mania

a state characterized by an expansive emotional state; extreme excitement; excessive elation; hyperactivity; agitation; over-talkativeness; flight of ideas; increased psychomotor activity; fleeting attention; and sometimes violent destructive and self-destructive behavior

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MAOI

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor. Any of a heterogeneous group of drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase

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neurotransmitter

an endogenous chemical in the body that serves to conduct nerve impulses between nerve cells. This type of neurotransmission occurs in both the CNS and the peripheral nervous system

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psychosis

a type of serious mental illness that can take several different forms and is associated with being truly out of touch with reality; unable to distinguish imaginary from real circumstances and events

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psychotherapeutics

refers to the therapy of emotional and mental disorders. It may involve drug therapy, a variety of counseling techniques, recreational therapy and, in extreme cases, electroconvulsive therapy

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psychotropic

capable of affecting mental processes; usually said of a medication

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SSRI

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. Any of a heterogenous group of newer medications used to treat depression and certain other mental illnesses. They work by selectively reducing reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain

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serotonin syndrome

a collection of symptoms resulting from excessive activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain; may occur with any psychotropic drugs that enhance brain serotonin activity

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tardive dyskinesia

a serious adverse drug effect involving disordered body movements and muscle tension that is associated with antipsychotic medications

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tricyclic

a chemical class of antidepressant drugs that block reuptake of the amine neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. They are so named because their chemical structures include a distinctive three-ring segment

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analeptic

CNS stimulants that have generalized effects on the brainstem and spinal cord, which in turn produce an increase in responsiveness to external stimuli and stimulates respiration

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anorexiant

drug used to control or suppress appetite. These also stimulate the CNS

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ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Syndrome affecting children, adolescents and adults that involves difficulty in maintaining concentration on a given task and/or hyperactive behavior

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CNS stimulant

drug that stimulates the brain or spinal cord

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migraine

a common type of recurring painful headache characterized by a pulsatile or throbbing, incapacitating pain and photophobia

49

narcolepsy

syndrome characterized by sudden sleep attacks, sleep paralysis and visual or auditory hallucinations at the onset of sleep

50

sympathomimetic

CNS stimulants such as noradrenergic drugs (and, to a lesser degree, dopaminergic drugs) whose actions resemble or mimic those of the sympathetic nervous system