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Ear, Eyes & Nose Vasoconstrictors
Ears, Eyes and Nose Vasoconstrictors reduce symptoms such as
swelling, heat, redness, and pain due to Allergies or Infections
of the ears, eyes and nose.
line the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. They act as the first line of defence
by repelling foreign substances.
When mucous membranes become irritated or inflamed by allergies or
infections (like the common cold), chemicals are released in the body. In an
attempt to rid the membranes of the foreign substances, blood vessels
dilate, blood supply increases, and vessels leak fluid. This can result in
swelling, redness, heat, pain, itching or watering of the affected area.
Ears, Eyes, and Nose Vasoconstrictors are applied topically for a direct
effect on the inflamed area. They reduce symptoms such as swelling, heat,
redness, or pain by constricting the mucous membrane blood vessels. This
prevents fluid leaks from the vessels and decreases the chemical
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Electrolytes and Replacements
Acidifying or Alkalinizing Agents
are used when fluid and electrolyte (chemical) imbalances occur
due to vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive sweating or urination,
fast breathing, kidney or other diseases, or as a side effect of
Water makes up a
large amount of the normal body weight. Intracellular (inside
cells) and extra cellular (outside of cells) compartments both
contain water and specified dissolved particles, called
electrolytes. Electrolytes, especially hydrogen, are responsible
for the acidity and alkalinity of the body. Typically,
intracellular fluids contain potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg++),
and phosphate (PO4--) electrolytes. The extra cellular fluid
contains sodium (Na+), calcium (Ca++), chloride (Cl-), and
bicarbonate(HCO3-) electrolytes. The body has many mechanisms
(the kidneys, for one) to keep electrolytes and water in a
delicate balance to maintain health.
Kidney and other diseases, or medications, such as diuretics,
can cause electrolyte or water changes between compartments.
Fluids and electrolytes also can be lost from the intestine due
to vomiting or diarrhoea, from the skin due to excessive
sweating, from the kidneys due to excessive urination, or from
the respiratory tract due to fast breathing. This is known as
Fluid or Electrolyte Imbalance. Occasionally, the body retains
calcium (Ca++) which can form Kidney Stones resulting in pain,
inflammation, or obstruction.
Acidifying Agents or Alkalinizing Agents can be given to restore
electrolyte imbalances. Alkalinizing Agents, such as Citrolith
K, convert to bicarbonate to restore an electrolyte balance from
acidic to neutral. Acidifying Agents, such as K-Phos, make the
environment more acidic to maintain electrolyte balances in the
blood and kidneys. Other Replacement Preparations, such as
Calcium or Potassium Supplements, are given to replace specific
electrolytes lost. Electrolyte Solution is used for general
electrolytes and fluid replacement. Other medications, such as
Thiola, prevent calcium accumulation and kidney stone formation.
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Gastrointestinal Enzyme and Acid Agents
Gastrointestinal Enzyme and Acid Agents help treat conditions
such as Gallstones, Pancreatitis, and Cystic Fibrosis. The Acid
Agents are used in the treatment of Indigestion, Heart Burn,
Ulcers, and other stomach conditions.
The Gastrointestinal tract, also known as the digestive tract,
is a long hollow tube where food passes to be broken into
nutrients for absorption and use by the body. The stomach is a
temporary storage site for food. Gastrin, a stomach hormone,
triggers the release of enzymes (pepsinogen), gastric juices
(hydrochloric acid), and mucus for the mucosal barrier that
protects the lining. The enzymes and gastric juices break down
food in the stomach, then move it to the intestine for further
breakdown, absorption, or elimination. The pancreas is a gland
that produces and secretes enzymes into the intestine for food
breakdown. The liver is the largest organ in the body and has a
digestive function of producing bile. Bile, stored in the
gallbladder, is secreted into the intestine for digestive
The gastrointestinal tract lining may become irritated or
inflamed due to increased acid production or inability of the
mucosal lining to resist destruction, causing ulcers. Crohn´s
Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are systemic diseases often
characterized by inflamed intestines.
Ulcers typically cause discomfort and can be treated with
medications altering the acid or protecting the lining of the
gastrointestinal tract. Antacids combine with the acidic juices
and neutralize them to prevent mucosal lining erosion. Antiulcer
Agents, such as Cimetidine or Ranitidine, block the secretion of
acid to prevent irritation and ulcers of the gastrointestinal
tract. Some medications, such as Carafate, react with gastric
acid to form a protective paste that coats the irritated
gastrointestinal area, protecting it from acid.
Anti-inflammatory Agents, such as Asacol, inhibit chemicals
responsible for inflammation of the intestine.
Occasionally, not enough enzymes are available in the
gastrointestinal tract for digestion and absorption of food.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (mainly the pancreas)
include Pancreatits and Cystic Fibrosis. The disease prevents
normal digestion by blocking digestive enzyme release. Bile,
stored in the gallbladder, may harden, forming gallstones that
can block bile secretion completely, resulting in jaundice and
Digestants, such as Creon or Pancrease, are pancreatic enzyme
replacements used to re-establish normal digestion in
gastrointestinal disorders. They are needed for carbohydrate,
protein, and fat digestion and absorption. Cholelitholytic
Agents, such as Actigall, dissolve gallstones to prevent bile
blockage and allow normal digestion.
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Gastrointestinal Muscle Movement Agents
Gastrointestinal Muscle Movement Agents alter the natural muscle
movements and are used to treat diarrhoea, constipation, or
The Gastrointestinal tract, also known as the digestive tract,
is a long hollow tube where food passes to be broken down into
nutrients for absorption and use by the body. Food is propelled
down this tract by smooth muscle contractions, called
peristalsis, that are controlled by the autonomic nervous
system. Juices and enzymes are secreted to break down the food
into smaller particles for use. Food not used is easily and
routinely eliminated from the body as waste in the form of
With a disruption of the normal muscle contractions of the
stomach or intestines, diarrhoea or constipation occurs.
Constipation occurs when peristalsis is slowed and faeces become
hard, infrequent, and difficult to pass. Diarrhoea occurs with
excessive peristalsis, increasing the fluidity and frequency of
faeces passing. Sometimes diarrhoea is a protective mechanism to
rid it of harmful foreign substances.
Laxatives prevent or treat constipation by increasing
peristalsis, or by increasing bulk or fluid content of the
faeces. This makes it softer and easier to pass through the
intestine. In contrast, Antidiarrheal Agents, such as Opium,
relieve diarrhoea by blocking transmission of nerve signals to
the muscles, slowing movement (peristalsis). Other agents, like
Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol, either bind with diarrhoea to help
bacteria pass or reabsorb fluid into the intestine to prevent
Vomiting is a protective reflexive action to rid the stomach of
harmful substances. Nausea, an unpleasant sensation, typically
occurs before vomiting and is a warning signal. If vomiting is
not controlled, large amounts of fluids and chemicals may be
lost from the body, causing dehydration or electrolyte
imbalance. Vomiting may occur due to stomach lining irritation
and brain vomiting centre stimulation. During vomiting, the
brain triggers stomach muscles to contract so that particles are
Emetics, such as Ipecac, irritate the stomach lining, stimulate
the brain's vomiting centre, and induce vomiting to treat drug
overdose or poison ingestion. Anti-emetics inhibit the pathway
between the stomach and the brain's vomiting centre to relieve
nausea and vomiting.
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Genitourinary Muscle Relaxants
Genitourinary Muscle Relaxants are used to
relax the bladder when bladder spasms, pain, urgency, frequency,
or incontinence are a problem.
The urinary system produces urine by filtering water and waste
products from the blood. Urine is stored in the bladder, a
smooth muscular triangular-shaped structure. The sphincter
muscle typically allows the bladder to expand and fill until
nerves are stimulated that allow conscious relaxation so urine
can flow out through the urethra.
Infection or other factors can cause bladder and sphincter
muscles to malfunction, resulting in lack of urinary control.
is involuntary passage of urine with the loss of control of
bladder storage. Urgency (the sudden need to urinate), can be
caused by increased sensitivity of the bladder muscle. Frequency
is caused by over stimulation of nerves that produce the urge to
void. Bladder Spasms, characterized by quivering and pain, are
caused by abnormal tension of muscles. Urinary retention
(infrequent urination) is often due to surgery or infection.
Genitourinary Smooth Muscle Relaxants, like Ditropan or Urispas,
can relax the bladder and sphincter smooth muscles to prevent
spasms, pain, urgency, and frequency. They interrupt the nerve
impulses (from the brain) that are signalling the bladder muscle
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Glaucoma Agents act in various ways to
decrease the pressure in the eye and are used to treat Glaucoma.
enter the eye through the cornea, then pass through the pupil
(controlled by the iris muscle) to the lens. The lens transmits
a focused image to the retina. The optic nerve receives signals
from the retina and forwards them to the brain for
interpretation. Aqueous and vitreous humor fluids protect and
nourish the eye and form its shape. Aqueous humor, a clear fluid
produced with assistance of carbonic anhydrase enzyme and
secreted by the ciliary body, fills the space between the cornea
and lens. It flows through a passageway between the lens and
iris, then through the pupil where it is reabsorbed in the iris
angle region. Typically the production of aqueous humor and the
outflow are equal to maintain a constant normal pressure.
If more aqueous humor fluid is secreted than reabsorbed, or if
fluid is not allowed to flow out to be reabsorbed, pressure
within the eye builds up and may result in loss of vision. This
condition is known as Glaucoma. With high pressure in the eye,
the blood vessels supplying the optic nerve become compressed
causing blurred vision, headache, eye pain, and eventually loss
of vision. Glaucoma can be caused by a congenital deformity,
injury or haemorrhage in the eye, infection, or a tumour that
obstructs the flow or fluid.
Miotics, Mydriatics, Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors, or Beta
Blockers can decrease the intraocular pressure to treat Glaucoma
and prevent deterioration of vision. Miotics contract eye
muscles which, in turn, constrict the pupils. This results in
blood vessel dilatation and increased fluid out flow. Mydriatics
relax eye muscles causing pupillary dilatation so more aqueous
humor can flow out of the eye. Mydriatics may also diminish the
formation of aqueous humor to decrease eye pressure. Carbonic
Anhydrase Inhibitors diminish carbonic anhydrase enzyme
responsible for production of aqueous humor in the ciliary body
resulting in less fluid production and diminished eye pressure.
Topical Beta Blockers, such as Timoptic, inhibit cells that
secrete aqueous humor to decrease pressure. These medications
may also be used to alter pupillary size before eye
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Hormones - Adrenal Agents are
frequently referred to as Corticosteroids. Some of these drugs
(glucocotricoids) reduce inflammation symptoms of swelling,
heat, redness, or pain. Others (mineralocorticoids) treat
Addison's Disease by replacing insufficient chemicals.
The adrenal glands
are located just above each kidney. They produce and store
mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid hormones. The
mineralocorticoids, like Aldosterone, maintain water and
electrolyte balance. The glucocorticoids, like cortisol,
maintain blood sugar and decrease inflammation. The production
and release of these hormones are controlled by a natural
When the natural control mechanism for adrenal corticosteroid
hormones fails, disease occurs. Addison´s Disease occurs when
the adrenal glands do not secrete enough mineralocorticoids.
Insufficient amounts of glucocorticoid can lead to uncontrolled
Synthetic medications can be given to replace natural adrenal
corticosteroid hormones. Florinef influences sodium and water
balance by mimicking natural mineralocorticoid. It replaces
aldosterone and is used in the treatment of Addison´s Disease.
Synthetic Corticosteroids resemble glucocorticoids and can
reduce the amount of swelling, heat, and redness by blocking the
chemicals responsible for inflammation.
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Diabetic Agents are used to treat Diabetes Mellitus by replacing
either Insulin or Glucose (sugar) for energy.
The pancreas is a
gland in the abdomen that secretes digestive fluids and produces
the hormones of insulin and glucagon. Glucagon and insulin
counteract each other to regulate blood sugar in the body.
Glucagon naturally increases blood sugar, known as glucose, in
the blood while Insulin transports glucose from the blood into
the cells to be used as energy.
Diabetes Mellitus is an abnormal break down of nutrients due to
decreased insulin production by the pancreas or decreased
effectiveness of the insulin produced by the pancreas. It occurs
when insufficient levels of effective insulin fail to transform
glucose into energy. Instead, glucose (or sugar) in the blood is
excreted in urine causing symptoms of frequent urination,
thirst, increased appetite, fatigue, and weight loss.
Insulin and Sulfonylurea Agents, such as Glyburide or Orinase,
treat Diabetes Mellitus by mimicking normal body insulin or
stimulating inactive insulin secretion by the pancreas. This
allows normal uptake and use of glucose for energy. Glucagon
imitates normal hormonal glucagon secretions to quickly increase
levels of glucose in the blood. Glucagon and Insulin or
Sulfonylurea Agents counteract each other like natural hormonal
glucagon and insulin do to keep a blood sugar balance.
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Pituitary Agents are used for people with Diabetes Insipidus,
Pituitary Dwarfism, or Pituitary Tumours. They replace natural
pituitary hormones needed for growth and body water
The pituitary gland,
located near the hypothalamus, stores and secretes numerous
hormones. Pituitary hormones regulate growth, water balance, and
stimulates secretion of hormones by other endocrine glands.
Growth Hormones are produced during childhood for growth of
bones, muscles, and organs. Antidiuretic hormones (ADH) are
secreted to conserve water in the kidneys by preventing
excretion. Pituitary hormone levels are regulated by the body's
natural feedback system.
Pituitary tumours and other diseases may cause hyposecretion of
growth hormone causing Pituitary Dwarfism or hyposecretion of
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) resulting in excessive urine
excretion called diabetes insipidus.
Nutropin and Protropin function like natural growth hormone by
stimulating growth in the child. This results in an increased
number of different cells in the body. Desmopressin is a
medication that mimics natural Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) to
conserve water in the kidneys by increasing reabsorption of
water from the collecting tubules of the kidneys.
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Hormones - Reproductive Agents
can replace or balance the body's natural hormones and are used
in the treatment of Delayed Puberty, Infertility, Menstrual
Irregularities, or Pregnancy Prevention.
The female ovaries
in the pelvic cavity and the male testes in the scrotum
typically produce sex hormones at puberty and after, resulting
in secondary sexual characteristic development and reproductive
abilities. Female sexual characteristics include breast
development, pubic and axillary hair growth, and widening of the
pelvis. Female Estrogen and Progesterone act together to cause
cyclic changes of the uterine lining in menstrual periods and
preparation of the uterus for pregnancy. Menopause occurs in
females due to decreased production of oestrogen and
progesterone. Male sexual characteristics include deepening
voice, genital enlargement, and pubic and axillary hair growth.
Testosterone and other Androgens (male hormones), produce an
anabolic effect resulting in matured muscles and bones.
Delayed puberty or infertility can occur due to inadequate
production and release of oestrogen, progesterone, or
testosterone sex hormones. Certain cancerous tumours, especially
of the testes, ovaries, or breasts, may occur in response to
hypersecretion of sex hormones. Menstrual Irregularities can
occur due to imbalance of oestrogen or progesterone hormone
secretion causing irregular or absent menstrual cycles, or
excessive menstrual bleeding.
Synthetic hormones, such as Oral Contraceptives, Androgens,
Gonadotropins, Estrogens, or Progestin's can be given to replace
inadequate natural hormone production. This promotes the
development and functioning of sexual characteristics to
regulate the menstrual cycle, and prevent pregnancy.
Occasionally, Synthetic hormones are given to counteract hormone
sensitive tumour growth.
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Hormones - Thyroid Agents can
either replace natural thyroid hormone, which is necessary in
the treatment of Cretinism or Myxedema, or can inhibit
production of thyroid hormone to treat symptoms associated with
The thyroid gland in
the neck has two large lateral lobes that store and secrete
thyroid-secreting hormones. These thyroid-secreting hormones
regulate general cell growth and development and produce heat
and energy. Iodine combined with chemicals forms
thyroid-secreting hormones that are released into the blood
stream to match the body's need for them.
The thyroid may become under active or overactive, causing
general health problems. Hyperthyroidism, or Graves' Disease, is
an overactive secretion of thyroid hormone. Graves' Disease may
be identified by a goitre (lump), bulging eyes, weight loss, or
nervousness. Cretinism and Myxedema are results of
hypothyroidism and are characterized by dry skin and hair,
fatigue, or generalized swelling.
Antithyroid Drugs, such as Propylthiouracil, are used to
decrease symptoms associated with Graves´ Disease. They inhibit
the production or secretion of thyroid hormones by inhibiting
iodine's effectiveness. Synthetic Thyroid Replacements, such as
Synthroid or Thyroid, are used as synthetic substitutes for
natural thyroid hormone in treating Cretinism and Myxedema.
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Detoxicant) Liver Agents are used to treat Liver Failure
symptoms by eliminating poisonous ammonia in the body.
The liver is the
largest gland in the body. It aids digestion by breaking down
nutrients, specifically amino acids, resulting in ammonia as a
waste product. Ammonia is released into the blood by the liver,
where it is converted to urea and excreted by the intestine or
kidney. The liver is also responsible for many other body
functions such as production of blood proteins or detoxifying
drugs and chemicals.
Hepatic Encephalopathy and Liver Failure are the result of a
diseased or injured liver. The malfunctioning liver allows
ammonia to accumulate at levels that can poison the liver,
blood, and eventually the brain, causing confusion, coma, or
Ammonia Detoxicants, such as Lactulose, are used to treat liver
disease. They alter the environment of the bowel, binding with
the high levels of ammonia in the intestine. This causes
diarrhoea that quickly excretes the ammonia and prevents
reabsorption by the blood. Ammonia Detoxicants also promote the
transference of ammonia from the blood to the intestine for
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