- ACE inhibitors
ACE converts angiotensin I to the vasoactive angiotensin II in your body. Angiotensin II is a potent pressor agent (it increases blood pressure). An ACE inhibitor is a drug that blocks or decreases the rate of the conversion process and is used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure.
- Acne Medications
Mild acne is treated with creams and solutions, while moderate and severe acne is usually treated by a combination of topical medicines and antibiotic pills, or prescription drugs.
- ADHD medications
Drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While many may have a stimulating effect in most people, they have a calming affect in ADHD patients. These include methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, among others.
- Alpha Blockers
Medicines that reduce the workload of the heart and lower blood pressure. They are commonly used to treat high blood pressure or peripheral vascular disease.
- Alzheimer's Medications
Medications used to treat Alzheimer's disease to relieve symptoms or slow the progression of the disease.
Drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to keep the disease in remission.
Drugs that capable of reducing the perception of pain without producing anesthesia or loss of consciousness. Most also reduce inflammation. There are many types that may be available over-the-counter or by prescription. They do not eliminate pain, but mask it by increasing the body's pain threshold.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
Drugs that widen blood vessels by preventing a substance called angiotensin II from entering angiotensin II receptors. Angiotensin II is one of several substances in the body that cause blood vessels to tighten and regulates blood pressure.
- Anti-Anxiety Medications
An agent used to lessen the symptoms of anxiety at doses which do not cause excessive sedation.
- Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
An agent used to reduce inflammation by acting on body mechanisms instead of directly opposing the action of the inflammatory agent. They can also be useful in reducing the pain of certain types of headaches or numerous other pain conditions.
A specific type of antibacterial, an antibiotic is a substance derived from a bacterium or a mold that is used to inhibit the growth of other microorganisms. They have no effect on viruses. They are used to treat infections and are given before some medical procedures to prevent infections in some patients.
Medications that decrease the ability of the blood to clot. While clotting is a necessary and life-sustaining function, anticoagulants reduce the risk of a blood clot forming and blocking blood flow through a major blood vessel.
- Anticonvulsant Medications
Drugs used to prevent or control the severity of seizures in various types of epilepsy. They may also be prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and some personality disorders.
Antidepressants primarily used to prevent or treat depression, anxiety and obsessional problems. They work by increasing the level of neurotransmitters in the brain.
These agents are used to treat or prevent diarrhea.
A class of medications used to alleviate symptoms associated with some neurological disorders (e.g., Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis). They work by improving muscle control and reducing stiffness, allowing for more normal body movements.
They are used in the prevention or treatment of nausea and vomiting.
- Antifungal Agents
Drugs used to treat fungal infections of the skin.
- Antihistamine Drugs
A group of drugs that block the effects of histamine, a chemical released during an allergic reaction. They are designed to reduce various cold and allergy symptoms (e.g., sneezing, itching, runny nose).
They are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
Drugs that block the formation of blood clots by decreasing the ability of the body's natural blood-clotters (platelets) to bind together (aggregate).
Antipsychotics primarily used to treat psychoses, such as schizophrenia, mania and delusional disorder. They may control such symptoms as delusions and hallucinations and may have some mood-stabilizing effects.
A class of drugs used to treat viral infections. They may act by destroying or weakening the virus.
- Asthma Medications
Medications that generally relieve the symptoms caused by asthma, but do not cure the condition itself.
Drugs that slow down the central nervous system. They are used to produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures. They can be habit-forming when taken in high doses or for long periods.
- Beta Blockers
Medications that reduce the workload of the heart and lower blood pressure. They are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, angina (a certain type of chest pain, pressure or discomfort) or congestive heart failure.
- Birth Control Pills
Pills that control a female patient's menstrual cycle. Although they are most commonly used to prevent pregnancy, they may also be prescribed for other conditions.
A group of drugs used to widen the lung's airways (bronchi).
- Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium Channel Antagonists that block the movement of calcium ions into heart cells and blood vessels. This increases the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, lowers blood pressure and reduces the heart's workload.
- Cholesterol Lowering Medications
They are used in the treatment of high cholesterol. They include statins, bile acid resins, nicotinic acid (niacin) and fibrates.
Group of anti-inflammatory drugs similar to hormones produced by the body. Corticosteroids are used to treat many numerous conditions.
- COX-2 inhibitors
Medications similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but that should not cause stomach upset. They only block COX-2 (which causes inflammation) not COX-1 (which protects the stomach lining). Potentially serious side effects may occur.
Over-the-counter medications that shrink swollen nasal tissues to relieve symptoms of nasal swelling, congestion and mucus secretion.
- Diet Pills
Substances to aid in weight loss that may be available over-the-counter or by prescription. They are not usually recommended for weight management in people with diabetes as they often do not work or have potentially dangerous side effects.
Pills that cause the kidneys to flush water and other substances (e.g., sodium) from the body through urine.
Category of drugs used in many autoimmune diseases to slow down disease progression, including rheumatoid arthritis.
- Dopamine Blockers & Depletors
Medicines that prevent the body from using (blockers) or producing (depletors) the neurotransmitter dopamine. They are used to treat neurological conditions such as Tourette syndrome and Huntington's disease.
- Dopamine Precursors
Medications that enter the brain and are converted to dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for smooth, coordinated movement and other motor and cognitive functions. They may be used to treat Parkinson's disease.
- Dopamine Stimulators
Drugs that mimic the effect of dopamine (a neurotransmitter), which may lead to relief of symptoms from Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders.
- Fever Reducers
Medicines that reduce fever. They may belong to a variety of drug classes, including analgesics (pain relievers) and anti-inflammatories.
Drugs used in the treatment of high blood lipids. Fibrates reduce triglyceride production and increase the rate that triglycerides are removed from the blood. They can lower triglycerides and increase HDL, but are less effective at lowering LDL.
- H2 Blockers
A specific class of drugs that blocks the action of histamine by reversibly competing with histamine at the H2 receptors. They are used to treat peptic duodenal and gastric ulcers as well as other types of ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux, and hypersecretory conditions.
- Headache Medications
Medicines used to relieve or prevent intermittent headaches or chronic headache conditions (e.g., migraines, tension headaches). They may work by blocking pain, reducing inflammation, opening restricted blood vessels or by other methods.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
Replacement of the female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) lost during menopause. Replacement may be of either or both hormones. Studies have suggested that this may increase breast cancer risk and HRT use has dropped as a result.
- Hormone Therapy Drugs
Hormone Blocking Agents that interfere with hormone production or action to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.
- Leukotriene Modifiers
A new class of drugs for the treatment of asthma. Leukotrienes are chemical compounds released in the body during an inflammatory process, which cause the airways to narrow. The drug blocks the production or the action of leukotrienes.
- MAO Inhibitors
Antidepressants often used to treat major depression in patients who do not respond to other medications. They are also used to treat bipolar disorder and panic disorder. Examples include phenelzine, tranylcypromine and isocarboxazid.
- Mood Stabilizers
Medicines of various other drug classes that are effective at treating fluctuations of mood regardless of the cause of that fluctuation. They may be used to treat mania, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders.
- Morning After Pill
An oral pill that usually, but not always, prevents pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. Most effective when taken within 24 hours of intercourse, but may work for up to 72 hours.
- Muscle Relaxants
Medications that cause skeletal muscle contraction to cease. They may be used to treat certain dental illnesses, such as TMJ disorders.
An NSAID works by inhibiting cyclooxygenase, an enzyme responsible for making prostaglandins which are mediators of inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory, fever-reducing, and pain-relieving properties. They are used to treat pain, fever, headaches, cramps, etc.
Medications that act on the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to help move food through the digestive system.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors
Medicines that reduce the amount of acid in the stomach by inhibiting its production.
- Psychiatric Medications
Many mental health disorders can be treated with medications. There are many such drugs available, including antidepressants, antipsychotics and anxiolytics.
Substances chemically related to vitamin A. The term is also used to describe medicines containing these substances used in the prevention and treatment of various skin problems, including severe acne and psoriasis.
- Seizure Medications
Drugs that prevent, reduce or stop convulsions or seizures. They are sometimes used to treat other conditions, such as depression.
- SSRI Medications
Newer antidepressants that appear to block reabsorption of serotonin by certain brain nerve cells, thus enhancing neurotransmission and improving mood.
A type of medicines used in the treatment of high blood lipids levels (e.g., cholesterol and triglycerides). Statins block the production of specific enzymes used by the body to make cholesterol.
- Thyroid Medications
Various medications, including synthetic hormones and radioactive iodine, may be used to restore blood levels of thyroid hormone to normal.
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Medications used to treat depression. In some cases, they also are used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders or bedwetting in children. These drugs are used less commonly since the advent of SSRIs.