FLUOROSIS
FONTANELLE
fluorosis
Mottling of the tooth enamel
caused by ingestion of excess
fluoride
as the
teeth
are formed. In severe cases,
the enamel develops brown stains. Such
cases occur mostly where the fluoride
level in water is far greater than the rec-
ommended level or when additional
fluoride supplements are taken.
fluorouracil
An
anticancer drug
used in
the treatment of cancers of the breast,
bladder, ovaries, and intestine.
fluoxetine
A type of
antidepressant drug
.
flurazepam
A type of
benzodiazepine
drug
used as a sleeping drug to treat
insomnia
.
The drug's effects may persist
the following day; and prolonged use
may result in dependence.
flurbiprofen
A
nonsteroidal anti-inflam-
matory drug
used particularly to ease
the symptoms of musculoskeletal disor-
ders such as
rheumatoid arthritis
.
flush
Reddening of the face, and some-
times the neck, caused by dilation of
the blood vessels near the skin surface.
Flushing may occur during
fever
or as a
result of embarrassment.
Hot flushes
are common at the
menopause
.
foam, contraceptive
See
spermicides
.
foetus
An alternative spelling for
fetus
.
folic acid
A
vitamin
that is essential for
the production of red
blood cells
by the
bone marrow
. Folic acid is contained in
a variety of foods, particularly liver and
raw vegetables; adequate amounts are
usually included in a normal diet.
During pregnancy, folic acid is imp-
ortant for fetal growth and in the
development of the nervous system and
formation of blood cells. The incidence
of
neural tube defects
is reduced if
women take folic acid supplements for
a month before conception and during
the first
12
weeks of pregnancy.
Folic acid deficiency is a cause of
megaloblastic
anaemia
, which produces
symptoms such as headaches, fatigue,
and pallor. Deficiency can occur during
any serious illness or can be the result
of a nutritionally poor diet.
folie a deux
A French term that is used
to describe the unusual occurrence of
2
people sharing the same psychotic ill-
ness (see
psychosis
). Commonly, the
2
are closely related and share one or
more paranoid
delusions
. If the sufferers
are separated, one of them almost al-
ways quickly loses the symptoms, which
have been imposed by the dominant,
and genuinely psychotic, partner.
folk medicine
Any form of medical treat-
ment that is based on popular tradition,
such as the charming of warts or the use
of copper bracelets to treat rheumatism.
follicle
A small cavity in the body. For
example, a
hair
follicle is a pit on the
skin surface from which hair grows.
follicle-stimulating hormone
A
gon-
adotrophin hormone
that is produced
and secreted by the pituitary gland and
acts on the ovary or testes.
folliculitis
Inflammation of 1
or more
hair follicles as a result of a
staphylo-
coccal infection
. Folliculitis can occur
almost anywhere on the skin but com-
monly affects the neck, thighs, buttocks,
or armpits, causing a
boil
; it may also
affect the bearded area of the face, pro-
ducing pustules (see
sycosis barbae
).
Treatment is with
antibiotic drugs
.
fomites
Inanimate objects, such as bed
linen, clothing, books, or a telephone
receiver, that are not harmful in them-
selves but may be capable of harbouring
harmful microorganisms or parasites and
thus convey an infection from one per-
son to another. Fomites mainly transmit
respiratory infections, such as influenza.
The singular form of the word is fomes.
fontanelle
One of the 2 mem bran e-
covered spaces between the bones of a
baby's skull. At birth, the skull bones
are not yet fully fused, and
2
soft areas
can be felt through the scalp. These are
the anterior fontanelle, which is dia-
mond-shaped and usually closes up by
age 18 months,
and the posterior
fontanelle, which
is triangular and
closes up within
the first
2
months.
It is normal for the
fontanelles to be-
come tense and
bulge out when a
baby cries. Per-
sistent tension at
other times may
indicate an abnor-
mality, particularly
FONTANELLE
Anterior
fontanelle
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