Drug Classifications

  1. ACE Inhibitors
    Prevent the synthesis of angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor; used to treat hypertension, heart failure, and kidney disease.
  2. acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
    Promote the accumulation of acetylcholine, resulting in prolonged cholinergic effects. Used to treat myasthenia gravis, glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and Lewy Body Dementia.
  3. adrenergic
    Produce effects similar to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (see chapter 13)
  4. adrenergic blocking agents
    Inhibit the adrenergic system, preventing stimulation of the adrenergic receptors (antihypertensives)
  5. aldosterone receptor antagonists
    Block stimulation of mineralcorticoid receptors by aldosterone, thus reducing high blood pressure by preventing sodium reabsorption.
  6. aminoglycosides
    Gentamicin, tobramycin, and related antibiotics; particularly effective against gram-negative microorganisms; noted for potentially dangerous toxicity.
  7. amylinomimetic agent
    Used to reduce elevated postprandial hyperglycemia (pramlinitide) in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus
  8. analgesics
    Narcotic and nonnarcotic; relieve pain without producing loss of consciousness or reflex activity.
  9. androgens
    These steroid hormones produce masculinizing effects.
  10. anesthetics
    Local or general anesthesia; cause a loss of sensation with or without loss of consciousness.
  11. angiotensin II receptor antagonists
    Also known as ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers); act by binding to angiotensin II receptor sites, preventing angiotensin II (a very potent vasoconstrictor) from binding to receptor sites in vascular smooth muscle, brain, heart, kidneys, and adrenal gland, thus blocking the blood pressure-elevating and sodium-retaining effects of angiotensin II.
  12. antacids
    Reduce the acidity of gastric contents
  13. antianginals
    Used to prevent or treat attacks of angina pectoris; most common is nitroglycerin.
  14. antianxiety
    Used to treat anxiety symptoms or disorders; also known as minor tranquilizers or anxiolytics, although the term tranquilizer is avoided today to prevent the misperception that the patient is being tranquilized.
  15. antibiotics
    Used to treat infections caused by pathogenic microbes; the term is often used interchangeably with antimicrobial agents.
  16. anticholinergics
    Block the action of acetylcholine in the parasympathetic nervous sstem; also know as cholinergic blocking agents, antispasmodics, and parasympatholytic agents. Used to treat issues with involuntary movements of smooth muscle tissue.
  17. anticoagulants
    Do NOT dissolve existing blood clots, but do prevent the formation, enlargement, or extension of blood clots.
  18. anticonvulsants
    Suppress abnormal neuronal activity in the CNS, preventing seizures.
  19. antidepressants
    Relieve depression.
  20. antidiabetics
    Include insulin and amylinomimetic agent (pramlintide) used to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus. The secretogogues and those following are used to treat type 2 DM. Secretogogues (sulonylureas, melitinides), biguanide (metformin), thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone, rosiglitazone), alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (acarbose, miglitol), amylinomimetic agents (pramlintide), and incretin-based therapy (exenatide, stigagliptin) used in the treatment of type 2 DM.
  21. antidiarrheals
    Relieve or control the symptoms of acute or chronic diarrhea.
  22. antidysrhythmics
    Used to correct cardiac dysrhythmias (any heart rate or rhythm other than normal sinus rhythm.
  23. antiemetics
    Used to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting
  24. antifungals
    Used to treat fungal infections
  25. antiglaucoma
    Used to reduce intraocular pressure.
  26. antigout
    Used to treat active gout attacks or to prevent future attacks.
  27. antihistamines
    Used to treat allergy symptoms; may also be used to treat motion sickness, insomnia, and other nonallergic reactions.
  28. antihypertensives
    Used to treat elevated blood pressure (hypertension)
  29. antilipemics
    Used to reduce serum cholesterol and/or triglycerides; most common are statins.
  30. antimicrobials
    Chemicals that eliminate living organisms pathogenic to the patient; also called antibiotics or antiinfectives.
  31. antineoplastics
    Also called chemotherapy agents; used alone or in combination with other treatment modalities such as radiation, surgery or biologic response modifiers to treat cancer.
  32. antiparkinson's
    Used in the treatment of Parkinson's syndrome and other dyskinesias.
  33. antiplatelets
    Prevent platelet clumping (aggregation), thereby preventing an essential step in formation of a blood clot; most common are aspirin and clopidogrel.
  34. antipsychotics
    Used to treat severe mental illnesses; also known as major tranquilizers or neuroleptics, although the term tranquilizer is avoided today to prevent the misperception that the patient is being tranquilized.
  35. antipyretics
    Used to reduce fevers associated with a variety of conditions; most common are aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.
  36. antispasmodics
    anticholinergic agents
  37. antithyroid
    Used to treat the symptoms of hyperthyroidism; also known as thyroid hormone antagonists.
  38. antituberculins
    Used to prevent or treat an infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  39. antitussive
    Used to suppress a cough by acting on the couch center of the brain.
  40. antiulcer agents
    These drugs, such as histamine (H2) antagonists, decrease the volume and increase the pH of gastric secretions.
  41. antivirals
    Used to treat infections caused by pathogenic viruses
  42. beta blockers
    Inhibit the activity of sympathetic transmitters, norepinephrine, and epinephrine; used to treat angina, dysrhythmias, hypertension, and glaucoma.
  43. bronchodilators
    Stimulate receptors within the tracheobronchial tree to relax and dilate the airway passages, allowing a greater volume of air to be exchanged and improving oxygenation.
  44. calcium channel blockers
    Also called calcium ion antagonists, slow channel blockers, or calcium ion influx inhibitors; inhibit the movement of calcium ions across the cell membrane; used to decrease dysrhythmias, slow rate of contraction of the heart, and cause vasodilation.
  45. carbapenems
    Antibiotics (iipenem, ertapenem, meropenem, dosipenem) with a broad spectrum of activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria; they act by inhibiting cell wall synthesis.
  46. carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
    Interfere with the production of aqueous humor, thereby reducing intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.
  47. cell-stimulating agents
    Improve immune function by stimulating the activity of various immune cells
  48. cholinergic
    Also known as parasympathomimetics; produce effects similar to those of acetylcholine. Functions to enhance or inhibit the effects mediated by acetylcholine in the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, or both.
  49. cholinesterase inhibitors
    Cholinesterase enymes destroy acetylcholine, stopping its action. Cholinesterase inhibitors block destruction of acetylcholine, thus prolonging its action. Examples of cholinesterase inhibitors are demecarium and echothiophate.
  50. coating agent
    This drug, sucralfate, forums a complex that adheres to the crater of an ulcer, protecting the ulcer from aggravation from gastric secretions.
  51. colony-stimulating factors
    Stimulate progenitor cells in bone marrow to increase the numbers of leukocytes, thereby improving immune function.
  52. corticosteroids
    These hormones are secreted by the adrenal cortex of the adrenal gland.
  53. cycloplegics
    Anticholingergic agents that paralyze accommodation of the iris of the eye.
  54. cytotoxics
    Agents that cause direct cell death; often used for cancer chemotherapy.
  55. decongestants
    Reduce swelling in the nasal passages caused by a common cold or allergic rhinitis, usually by vasoconstriction.
  56. digestants
    Combination products containing digestive enzymes used to treat various digestive disorders and to supplement deficiencies of natural digestive enzymes.
  57. digitalis glycosides
    A class of drugs, also known as cardiac glycosides, that increase the force of contraction and slow the heart rate, thereby improving cardiac output; digoxin is the prototype.
  58. diuretics
    Act to increase the flow of urine.
  59. emetics
    Used to induce vomiting
  60. estrogens
    Steroids that cause feminizing effects.
  61. expectorants
    Liquefy mucus by stimulating the natural lubricant fluids from the bronchial glands, allowing the liquified mucus to be expectorated for coughed up out of the trachea and bronchi.
  62. fluoroquinolones
    Ciprofloxacin and related agents; widely used broad spectrum antibiotics.
  63. gastric stimulants
    Used to increase stomach contractions, relax the pyloric valve, and increase peristalsis in the gastrointestinal tract; result in a decrease in gastric transit time and more rapid emptying of the intestinal tract; protoype is metoclopramide.
  64. glucocorticoids
    Also known as adrenocorticosteroids; are used to regulate carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
  65. gonadal hormones
    Hormones produced by the testes in the male and ovaries in the female.
  66. herbals
    Plant products usually sold as food supplements; may have pharmacologic effects that are not evaluated or regulated by the FDA.
  67. histamine (H2) antagonists
    Decrease the volume and increase the pH of gastric secretions both during the day and the night.
  68. HMG-CoA reductase enzyme inhibitors
    Also known as the statins; antilipemic agents that inhibit hydroxymethyl-glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase enzyme, the enzyme that stimulates the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonic acid, a precursor in the biosynthesis of cholesterol, thus reducing the potential for atherosclerosis.
  69. hyperuricemics
    Used to decrease the production or increase the excretion of uric acid excretion, thus lowering serum uric acid levels to prevent gout. (e.g. allopurinol)
  70. hypnotics
    Used to produce sleep
  71. incretin-mimetics
    Used to reduce basal glucose concentrations and elevated postprandial glucose concentrations; used to treat diabetes mellitus.
  72. insulins
    Hormone required for glucose transport into the cells for energy.
  73. lactation suppressants
    Used to prevent physiologic lactation
  74. laxatives
    Act by a variety of mechanisms to treat constipation
  75. low molecular weight heparins
    Derivatives of heparin; anticoagulants for the prophylactic treatment of pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis.
  76. macrolides
    Erythromycin, azithromycin, and related antibiotics
  77. MAO inhibitors
    Agents (phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, selegiline) that block monoamine oxidase, thereby preventing the degradation and prolonging the action of norepinephrine and serotonin
  78. mineralocorticoids
    Steroids that cause the kidneys to retain sodium and water
  79. miotics
    Cause constriction of the iris
  80. mucolytics
    Reduce the thickness and stickiness of pulmonary secretions by acting directly on the mucous plugs to dissolve them
  81. muscle relaxants
    Relieve muscle spasms
  82. mydriatics
    Cause dilation of the iris
  83. neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist
    Aprepitant is the first NK1 antagonist available; blocks the effects of substance P on NK1 receptors. Used to prevent acute and delayed chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting caused by highly emetogenic antineoplastic agents.
  84. neuromuscular blockers
    Skeletal muscle relaxants used to produce muscle relaxation during anesthesia; reduce the use and side effects of general anesthetics; used to ease endotracheal intubation and prevent laryngospasm.
  85. nitrates
    Metabolize to nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator used to treat angina
  86. nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    Prostaglandin inhibitors that are analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory in action
  87. opioids
    Centrally acting analgesic agents related to morphine
  88. oral contraceptives
    Used for birth control; administered orally
  89. oral hypoglycemics
    Used in type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glucose metabolism and lower blood glucose levels
  90. progestins
    Steroids regluating endometrial and myometrial function; used alone or in combination with estrogen for oral contraception
  91. protease inhibitors
    Saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, and related drugs; block the maturation of human immunodeficiency virus; used to treat HIV infections
  92. salicylates
    Group of related chemicals that are a subclass of NSAIDs effective as analgesics, antipyretics, and antiinflammatory agents
  93. sedatives
    Given to an individual to produce relaxation and rest; do not necessarily produce sleep
  94. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    Antidepressants that act by specifically blocking the reuptake of serotonin, thus prolonging its action
  95. serotonin antagonists
    Used to block serotonin; prevent emesis induced by chemotherapy, radation therapy, and surgery
  96. statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors)
    Block the synthesis of cholesterol
  97. stool softeners or fecal softeners
    Draw water into the stool, thereby softening it
  98. sympatholytics
    Interfere with the stoage and relase of norepinephrine and epinephrine
  99. sympathomimetics
    Mimic the action of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine
  100. thrombolytics
    A specific group of drugs (alteplase, anistreplase, streptokinase, urokinase, tenecteplase) given to dissolve existing blood clots
  101. thyroid hormone antagonists
    Used to counteract or block the action of excessive formation of thyroid hormones (e.g. propylthiouracil, methimazole)
  102. thyroid hormones
    Used when thyroid hormones are not being produced or are not produced in sufficient quantities to meet the body's physiologic needs
  103. tricyclic antidepressants
    Inhibit the reuptake or norepinephrine and serotonin (include doxepin, amitripltyline, and imipramine)
  104. uricosuric agents
    Act on the tubules of the kidneys to enhance the excretion of uric acid
  105. urinary analgesics
    Produce a local anesthetic effect on the mucosa of the ureters and bladder to relieve burning, pain urgency, and frequency associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  106. urinary antimicrobials
    Substances excreted and concentrated in the urine in sufficient amounts to have an antiseptic effect on the urine and the urinary tract
  107. uterine relaxants
    Used primarily to prevent preterm labor and delivery; includes terbutaline
  108. uterine stimulants
    Increase the frequency or strength of uterine contractions; includes oxytocin
  109. vaccines
    Suspensions of either live, attenuated, or killed bacteria or viruses administered to induce immunity against infection of specific bacteria or viruses
  110. vasodilators
    Relax the arteriolar smooth muscle causing a dilation of the blood vessels (e.g., calcium channel blockers, alpha-1 adrenergic blockers, and hydralazine)
Card Set
Drug Classifications
Drug classifications for pharmacology - nursing