Template:Drug terms

From Embryology
Drug Terms  
  • adverse reaction - (adverse event) An unwanted effect caused by the administration of drugs. Onset may be sudden or develop over time (See Side Effects).
  • approved drugs - In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve a substance as a drug before it can be marketed. The approval process involves several steps including pre-clinical laboratory and animal studies, clinical trials for safety and efficacy, filing of a New Drug Application by the manufacturer of the drug, FDA review of the application, and FDA approval/rejection of application (See Food and Drug Administration).
  • AUC - acronym for Area Under the plasma concentration versus time Curve is an important parameter when determining drug effects, both therapeutic and teratogenic.
  • clinical trial - A research study to answer specific questions about vaccines or new therapies or new ways of using known treatments. Clinical trials (also called medical research and research studies) are used to determine whether new drugs or treatments are both safe and effective. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people. Trials are in four phases: Phase I tests a new drug or treatment in a small group; Phase II expands the study to a larger group of people; Phase III expands the study to an even larger group of people; and Phase IV takes place after the drug or treatment has been licensed and marketed. (See Phase I, II, III, and IV Trials).
  • cohort - In epidemiology, a group of individuals with some characteristics in common.
  • contraindication - A specific circumstance when the use of certain treatments could be harmful.
  • double-blind study - A clinical trial design in which neither the participating individuals nor the study staff knows which participants are receiving the experimental drug and which are receiving a placebo (or another therapy). Double-blind trials are thought to produce objective results, since the expectations of the doctor and the participant about the experimental drug do not affect the outcome; also called double-masked study. See Blinded Study, Single-Blind Study, and Placebo.
  • drug clearance - measured as the volume of blood or plasma from which a compound is irreversibly removed per unit time.
  • drug distribution - movement of a drug from one location in the body to another, generally by passive diffusion down the concentration gradient.
  • drug-drug interaction - A modification of the effect of a drug when administered with another drug. The effect may be an increase or a decrease in the action of either substance, or it may be an adverse effect that is not normally associated with either drug.
  • drug metabolism - (drug biotransformation)
  • efficacy - Referring to a drug or treatment, the maximum ability of a drug or treatment to produce a result regardless of dosage. A drug passes efficacy trials if it is effective at the dose tested and against the illness for which it is prescribed. In the procedure mandated by the FDA, Phase II clinical trials gauge efficacy, and Phase III trials confirm it (See Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Phase II and III Trials).
  • Food and Drug Administration - (FDA) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of all drugs, biologics, vaccines, and medical devices, including those used in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of HIV infection, AIDS, and AIDS-related opportunistic infections. The FDA also works with the blood banking industry to safeguard the nation's blood supply. Internet address: http://www.fda.gov/.
  • informed consent - The process of learning the key facts about a clinical trial before deciding whether or not to participate. It is also a continuing process throughout the study to provide information for participants. To help someone decide whether or not to participate, the doctors and nurses involved in the trial explain the details of the study.
  • oral bioavailability - refers to the percentage of the oral dose of that drug that ends up in the systemic circulation, few drugs have complete oral bioavailability.
  • orphan drugs - An FDA category that refers to medications used to treat diseases and conditions that occur rarely. There is little financial incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to develop medications for these diseases or conditions. Orphan drug status, however, gives a manufacturer specific financial incentives to develop and provide such medications.
  • pharmacokinetics - The processes (in a living organism) of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of a drug or vaccine.
  • Phase I trials - Initial studies to determine the metabolism and pharmacologic actions of drugs in humans, the side effects associated with increasing doses, and to gain early evidence of effectiveness; may include healthy participants and/or patients.
  • Phase II trials - Controlled clinical studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the drug for a particular indication or indications in patients with the disease or condition under study and to determine the common short-term side effects and risks.
  • Phase III trials - Expanded controlled and uncontrolled trials after preliminary evidence suggesting effectiveness of the drug has been obtained, and are intended to gather additional information to evaluate the overall benefit-risk relationship of the drug and provide and adequate basis for physician labeling.
  • Phase IV trials - Post-marketing studies to delineate additional information including the drug's risks, benefits, and optimal use.
  • placebo - A placebo is an inactive pill, liquid, or powder that has no treatment value. In clinical trials, experimental treatments are often compared with placebos to assess the treatment's effectiveness. (See Placebo Controlled Study).
  • placebo controlled study - A method of investigation of drugs in which an inactive substance (the placebo) is given to one group of participants, while the drug being tested is given to another group. The results obtained in the two groups are then compared to see if the investigational treatment is more effective in treating the condition.
  • placebo effect - A physical or emotional change, occurring after a substance is taken or administered, that is not the result of any special property of the substance. The change may be beneficial, reflecting the expectations of the participant and, often, the expectations of the person giving the substance.
  • plasma proteins - can bind drugs, acidic drugs bind to albumin, basic drugs bind to lipoproteins or to alpha-1 acid glycoprotein.
  • Preclinical - Refers to the testing of experimental drugs in the test tube or in animals - the testing that occurs before trials in humans may be carried out.
  • side effects - Any undesired actions or effects of a drug or treatment. Negative or adverse effects may include headache, nausea, hair loss, skin irritation, or other physical problems. Experimental drugs must be evaluated for both immediate and long-term side effects (See Adverse Reaction).
  • statistical significance - The probability that an event or difference occurred by chance alone. In clinical trials, the level of statistical significance depends on the number of participants studied and the observations made, as well as the magnitude of differences observed.
  • toxicity - An adverse effect produced by a drug that is detrimental to the participant's health. The level of toxicity associated with a drug will vary depending on the condition which the drug is used to treat.
  • treatment IND - Investigational New Drug (IND) application, which is part of the process to get approval from the FDA for marketing a new prescription drug in the U.S. It makes promising new drugs available to desperately ill participants as early in the drug development process as possible. Treatment INDs are made available to participants before general marketing begins, typically during Phase III studies. To be considered for a treatment IND a participant cannot be eligible to be in the definitive clinical trial.
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