ANTIBODY, MONOCLONAL
ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS
A
these antigens help the body to neu-
tralize or destroy the invading micro-
organisms. Antibodies may be formed
in response to
vaccines,
thereby giving
immunity. Antibodies are also known as
immunoglobulins.
Inappropriate or excessive formation
of antibodies may lead to illness, as in
an
allergy
. Antibodies against antigens
in organ transplants may result in rej-
ection of the transplanted organ. In
some disorders, antibodies are formed
against the body's own tissues, result-
ing in an
autoimmune disorder
.
antibody, monoclonal
An artificially
produced
antibody
that neutralizes only
one specific
antigen
(foreign protein).
Monoclonal antibodies are produced
in a laboratory by stimulating the growth
of a large number of antibody-producing
cells that are genetically identical. In
effect, this process enables antibodies
to be tailor-made so that they will react
with a particular antigen.
Monoclonal antibodies are used in
the study of human cells, hormones,
microorganisms, and in the develop-
ment of vaccines. They are also being
used in the diagnosis and treatment of
some forms of cancer.
anticancer drugs
Drugs that are used
to treat many forms of
cancer
. They are
particularly useful in the treatment of
lymphomas
,
leukaemias
,
breast cancer
,
cancer of the testis (see
testis
,
cancer of
),
and
prostate cancer
and are often used
together with surgery or
radiotherapy
.
Most anticancer drugs are cytotoxic
(kill or damage rapidly dividing cells),
but some act by slowing the growth of
hormone-sensitive tumours. Anticancer
drugs are often prescribed in combina-
tion to maximize their effects.
Treatment with cytotoxic drugs is often
given by injection in short courses
repeated at intervals. Some drugs cause
nausea and vomiting and may result in
hair loss and increased susceptibility to
infection. Others, such as tamoxifen,
which is used for breast cancer, are
given continuously by mouth for months
or years and cause few side effects.
anticholinergic
drugs
A group of
drugs that block the effects of
acetyl-
choline
, a chemical released from nerve
endings in the parasympathetic
auto-
nomic nervous system.
Acetylcholine
stimulates muscle contraction, increases
secretions in the mouth and lungs, and
slows the heartbeat.
Anticholinergic drugs are used in the
treatment of
irritable bow el syndrome,
urinary
incontinence, Parkinson's disease,
asthma
, and
bradycardia
(abnormally
slow heartbeat). They are also used to
dilate the pupil before eye examination
or surgery. Anticholinergic drugs are
used as a
premedication
before general
anaesthesia
and to treat
motion sickness
.
They may cause dry mouth, blurred
vision, urinary retention, and confusion.
anticoagulant drugs
A group of drugs
used to treat and prevent abnormal
blood clotting
, to treat
thrombosis
, and
to prevent and treat
stroke
and
transient
ischaemic attack
. Anticoagulant drugs
are also given to prevent abnormal
blood clotting after major surgery (esp-
ecially
heart-valve
replacement)
or
during haemodialysis (see
dialysis
). The
most common anticoagulants are
hep-
arin
and the newer heparin-derived
drugs, such as tinzaparin, all of which
have to be given by injection, and
warf-
arm,
which is taken orally.
Excessive doses of anticoagulant drugs
increase the risk of unwanted bleeding,
and regular monitoring is needed.
anticonvulsant drugs
A group of drugs
used to treat or prevent seizures. They
are used mainly in the treatment of
epi-
lepsy
but are also given to prevent
seizures following serious
head injury
or
some types of brain surgery. They may
be needed to control seizures in children
with a high fever (see
convulsions
,
febrile
).
Anticonvulsants may produce various
side effects, including impaired memory,
reduced concentration, poor coordina-
tion, and fatigue. If the side effects are
severe, they can often be minimized by
use of an alternative anticonvulsant.
antidepressant drugs
Drugs used in
the treatment of
depression
.Most of the
commonly used antidepressant drugs
belong to one of the following groups:
tricyclic
drugs,
selective serotonin reup-
take inhibitors
(SSRIs), and
monoamine
oxidase inhibitors
(MAOIs). These drugs
are usually successful at relieving the
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