FLECAINIDE
FLUORIDE
flecainide
An
antiarrhythmic drug
used
in the treatment of
tachycardia
,
atrial
fibrillation
,
and
arrhythmias
associated
with conditions such as Wolff-Parkinson-
White syndrome (a congenital abnormal-
ity of heart-rhythm). It is given, as tablets
or injection, to people resistant to or
intolerant of other treatment; and treat-
ment is always initiated in hospital. Side
effects may include dizziness, visual dis-
turbances, and worsening, or a new type
of, arrhythmia. Rarely, nausea, vomiting,
urticaria, vertigo, and jaundice occur.
flies
See
insects and disease
.
floaters
Fragments perceived to be float-
ing in the field of vision. Floaters move
rapidly with eye movement but drift
slightly when the eyes are still. They do
not usually affect vision. Most floaters
are shadows cast on the retina by
microscopic structures in the
vitreous
humour
(the jelly-like substance behind
the lens). The sudden appearance of a
cloud of dark floaters, especially when
accompanied by light flashes, suggests
retinal tear
or
retinal detachment
. A large
red floater that obscures vision is usu-
ally due to a
vitreous haemorrhage
.
flooding
A technique used in
behaviour
therapy
for treating
phobias
.
floppy infant
A description of a baby
whose muscles lack normal tension or
tone (see
hypotonia in infants
).
floppy valve
syndrome
See
mitral
valve prolapse
.
flossing, dental
The removal of plaque
(see
plaque, dental)
and food particles
from around the teeth and gums by
FLOSSING, DENTAL
Floss curved
around tooth
DETAIL
Dental floss
using soft nylon or silk thread or tape.
Dental floss may be waxed or unwaxed.
Flossing should be carried out as an ad-
junct to toothbrushing.
flu
See
influenza
.
flucloxacillin
A
penicillin drug
usually
used to treat
staphylococcal infections.
fluconazole
An
antifungal drug
used to
treat
candidiasis
, a fungal infection com-
monly affecting the vagina or mouth. It
may cause nausea and diarrhoea.
fluctuant
A term used to describe the
movement within a swelling when it is
examined by touch. It is a sign that the
swelling contains fluid. The term is
often used to describe an abscess.
fluid retention
Excessive accumulation
of fluid in body tissues. Mild fluid reten-
tion
is
common
with
premenstrual
syndrome
but disappears with the onset
of menstruation. However, more severe
fluid retention may be associated with
an underlying heart, liver, or kidney dis-
order (see
ascites
;
nephrotic syndrome
;
oedema
).
Diuretic drugs
may be used to
treat the condition.
fluke
A type of flattened worm, also
known as a trematode, that may infest
humans or animals. The 2 main diseases
caused by flukes are
liver fluke
infestation,
which occurs worldwide, and
schistoso-
miasis,
a debilitating tropical disease.
flunitrazepam
A type of
benzodiazepine
drug
used as a sleeping drug to treat
insomnia
.
The effects of flunitrazepam
may persist the following day; and pro-
longed use may result in dependence.
fluorescein
A harmless orange dye used
in
ophthalmology
as an aid to the diag-
nosis of certain eye disorders.
flu o rid a tio n
The addition of
fluoride
to
the water supply as a means of reducing
the incidence of dental
caries.
flu o rid e
A mineral that helps to prevent
dental
caries
by strengthening tooth en-
amel (see
teeth),
making it more resistant
to acid attacks. Fluoride may also reduce
the acid-producing ability of micro-
organisms in
plaque.
In the UK, fluoride
is added to the water supply; it can also
be applied directly to the teeth as part
of dental treatment or used in the form of
mouthwashes or toothpastes. Ingestion
of excess fluoride during tooth forma-
tion can lead to
fluorosis.
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