DISODIUM ETIDRONATE
DIURETIC DRUGS
A dislocated joint should only be mani-
pulated by medical personnel. First- aid
treatment consists of applying a
splint
or, in the case of a dislocated shoulder,
a
sling
. Sometimes, an operation is nec-
essary to reset the bones.
disodium etidronate
See
etidronate
disodium.
disopyramide
An
antiarrhythmic drug
used to treat abnormally rapid heart-
beat, as may occur after a
myocardial
infarction
(heart attack). It reduces the
force of heart muscle contraction. As a
result, it may aggravate pre-existing
heart failure
. Other possible side effects
include dry mouth and constipation.
disorder
Any abnormality of physical or
mental function.
disorientation
Confusion as to time,
place, or personal identity. Speech and
behaviour tend to be muddled, and the
person often cannot answer questions
about time, date, present location,
name, or address. It is usually due to a
head injury
,
intoxication
, or a chronic
brain disorder, such as
dementia
. It may
occasionally be due to
somatization dis-
order
(a psychological illness). (See
also
confusion; delirium.)
displacement
activity
The transfer-
ence of feelings from one object or
person to another. This is usually per-
formed consciously to obtain emotional
relief in a manner that will not cause
harm to oneself or to another person.
Some psychotherapists believe that dis-
placement is an unconscious
defence
mechanism
, which prevents disturbing
feelings from entering consciousness.
dissection
Cutting of body tissues dur-
ing surgery or for the purposes of
anatomical study.
disseminated intravascular coagula-
tion (DIC)
A type of
bleeding disorder
in which abnormal clotting leads to
depletion of coagulation factors in the
blood; the consequence may be severe
spontaneous bleeding.
dissociative disorders
A group of psy-
chological illnesses in which a particular
mental function becomes cut off from
the mind. Types of dissociative disorder
include hysterical amnesia (see
hysteria
),
fugue
,
depersonalization
, and
multiple per-
sonality.
(See also
conversion disorder.)
distal
A term describing a part of the
body that is further away from another
part with respect to a central point of
reference, such as the trunk. For exam-
ple, the fingers are distal to the arm.
The opposite of distal is
proximal
.
disulfiram
A drug that acts as a deter-
rent to drinking
alcohol
. It is prescribed
for people who request help for
alcohol
dependence
. Treatment is usually com-
bined with a counselling programme.
Disulfiram slows down the clearance of
alcohol in the body, causing flushing,
headache, nausea, dizziness, and palpi-
tations. Symptoms may start within 10
minutes of drinking alcohol and can last
for hours. Occasionally, large amounts
of alcohol taken during treatment can
cause unconsciousness; a person taking
the drug should carry a warning card.
dithranol
A drug that is used in the
treatment of
psoriasis
. Dithranol is pre-
scribed as an ointment, paste, or cream
and works by slowing the rate at which
skin cells multiply. This effect can be
boosted by ultraviolet light treatment
(see
phototherapy
). Dithranol can cause
skin inflammation.
diuretic drugs
Drugs that help remove
excess water from the body by increas-
ing the amount lost as
urine
.
They are
used in the treatment of various disor-
ders, which include severe
premenstrual
syndrome
,
hypertension
,
heart failure
,
the eye condition
glaucoma
,
nephrotic
syndrome
, and
cirrhosis
of the liver.
Types of diuretic drug differ markedly
in their speed and mode of action. Thi-
azide diuretics cause a moderate increase
in urine production.
Loop diuretics
are fast-acting, powerful drugs. They are
often used as an emergency treatment
for heart failure. Potassium-sparing di-
uretics are used along with thiazide and
loop diuretics, both of which may cause
the body to lose too much potassium.
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors block the
action of the enzyme carbonic anhy-
drase, which affects the amount of
bicarbonate ions in the blood; these
drugs increase urine output moderately
but are effective only for short periods
of time. Osmotic diuretics are used to
maintain urine output following serious
injury or major surgery.
D
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