Drug Glossary and Definition

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Pharmacist's Guide

Table of Contents

Drug Glossary - H

H 2 Antagonists Antihistamines that work against H 2 histamine. H 2 histamine may be liberated at any point in the body, but most often in the gastrointestinal tract.
Hangover Effect The same feelings as a “hangover” after too much alcohol consumption. Symptoms include headache, irritability and nausea.
Hematocrit A blood test that measure how much space in blood is occupied by red blood cells.
Hemochromatosis Disorder of iron metabolism in which excessive iron is deposited in and damages body tissues, particularly of the liver and pancreas.
Hemoglobin Pigment in blood that carries oxygen in red blood cells.
Hemolytics Drugs that can destroy red blood cells and separate hemoglobin from the blood cells. These include acetohydroxamic acid, antidiabetic agents (sulfonylurea), doxapram, furazolidone, mefenamic acid, menadiol, methyldopa, nitrofurans, primaquine, quinidine, quinine, sulfonamides (systemic), sulfones, vitamin K.
Hemorrhage Heavy bleeding.
Hemorheologic Agents Medicines to help control bleeding.
Hemosiderosis Increase of iron deposits in body tissues without tissue damage.
Hepatitis Inflammation of liver cells, usually accompanied by jaundice.
Hepatotoxics Medications that can possibly cause toxicity or decreased normal function of the liver. These drugs include the following (some of which are not described in this book): acetaminophen (with long-term use), abacavir, acitretin, alcohol, amiodarone, anabolic steroids, androgens, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, acitretin, anti-inflammatory drugs, nonsteroidal (NSAIDs), antithyroid agents, asparaginase, azlocillin, bexarotene, carbamazepine, carmustine, clindamycin, clofibrate, colestipol, cox 2 inhibitors, cyproterone, cytarabine, danazol, dantrolene, dapsone, daunorubicin, disulfiram, divalproex, dofetilide, epirubicin, erythromycins, estrogens, ethionamide, etretinate, felbamate, fenofibrate, fluconazole, flutamide, gold compounds, halothane, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, imatinib, iron (overdose) isoniazid, itraconazole, ketoconazole (oral), labetalol, mercaptopurine, methimazole, methotrexate, methyldopa, metronidazole, naltrexone, nevirapine, niacin (high doses), nilutamide, nitrofurans, pemoline, phenothiazines, phenytoin, piperacillin, plicamycin, posaconazole, pravastatin, probucol, rifampin, rosiglitazone, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, sulfonamides, tacrine, tenofovir, testosterone, tizanidine, tolcapone, toremifene, tretinoin, troglitazone, valproic acid, zidovudine, zidovudine and lamivudine.
Hiatal Hernia Section of the stomach that protrudes into the chest cavity.
Histamine Chemical in body tissues that dilates the smallest blood vessels, constricts the smooth muscle surrounding the bronchial tubes and stimulates stomach secretions.
History Past medical events in a patient’s life.
Hives Elevated patches on the skin that are redder or paler than surrounding skin and often itch severely.
HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors A group of prescription drugs used to lower cholesterol. These include Atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, pravastatin & aspirin, and simvastatin.
Hoarseness Husky, gruff, weak voice.
Hormone Replacement Therapy A medication (estrogen) or combination of medications (estrogen and progestin or estrogen and androgen) used for treatment of premenopausal and menopausal symptoms and for prevention of diseases that affect women in their later years.
Hormones Chemical substances produced in the body to regulate other body functions.
Hypercalcemia Too much calcium in the blood. This happens with some malignancies and in calcium overdose.
Hyperglycemia-Causing Medications A group of drugs that may contribute to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These include oral estrogen-containing contraceptives, corticosteroids, estrogens, isoniazid, nicotinic acid, phenothiazines, phenytoin, sympathomimetics, thyroid hormones, thiazide diuretics.
Hyperkalemia-Causing Medications Medicines that cause too much potassium in the bloodstream. These include ACE inhibitors; amiloride, anti-inflammatory drugs, nonsteroidal (NSAIDs); cyclosporine; digitalis glycosides; diuretics (potassium-sparing); pentamidine; spironolactone; succinylcholine chloride; tacrolimus; triamterene; trimethoprim; possibly any medicine that is combined with potassium.
Hypersensitivity Serious reactions to many medications. The effects of hypersensitivity may be characterized by wheezing, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, severe itching, faintness, unconsciousness and severe drop in blood pressure.
Hypertension High blood pressure.
Hypervitaminosis A condition due to an excess of one or more vitamins. Symptoms may include weakness, fatigue, loss of hair and changes in the skin.
Hypnotics Drugs used to induce a sleeping state. See Barbiturates.
Hypocalcemia Abnormally low level of calcium in the blood.
Hypoglycemia Low blood sugar (blood glucose). A critically low blood sugar level will interfere with normal brain function and can damage the brain permanently.
Hypoglycemia-Causing Medications A group of drugs that may contribute to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, antidiabetic drugs, clofibrate, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, probenecid, propranolol, rifabutin, rifampicin, salicylates, sulfonamides (longacting), sulfonylureas.
Hypoglycemics Drugs that reduce blood sugar. These include acetohexamide, chlorpropamide, gliclazide, glipizide, glyburide, insulin, metformin, tolazamide, tolbutamide.
Hypokalemia-Causing Medications Medicines that cause a depletion of potassium in the bloodstream. These include adrenocorticoids (systemic), alcohol, amphotericin B (systemic), bronchodilators (adrenergic), capreomycin, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, cisplatin, diuretics (loop and thiazide), edetate (long-term use), foscarnet, ifosfamide, indapamide, insulin, insulin lispro, laxatives (if dependent on), penicillins (some), salicylates, sirolimus, sodium bicarbonate, urea, vitamin D (overdose of).
Hypomagnesemia-Causing Drugs Drugs that may increase the loss of magnesium in urine. The loss can lead to low blood levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia). These drugs include busulfan, cyclosporine, digoxin, foscarnet, lenalidomide, loop diuretics, mycophenolate, nilotinib, proton-pump inhibitors, tacrolimus, thiazide diuretics, valganciclovir, voriconazole and others.
Hypotension Blood pressure decrease below normal. Symptoms may include weakness, lightheadedness and dizziness.
Hypotension-Causing Drugs Medications that might cause hypotension (low blood pressure). These include alcohol, alpha adrenergic blocking agents, alprostadil, amantadine, anesthetics (general), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), angiotensin II receptor antagonists, antidepressants (MAO inhibitors, tricyclic), antihypertensives, benzodiazepines used as preanesthetics, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, brimonidine, bromocriptine, cabergoline, calcium channel-blocking agents, carbidopa and levodopa, clonidine, clozapine, dipyridamole and aspirin, diuretics, docetaxel, droperidol, edetate calcium disodium, edetate disodium, haloperidol, hydralazine, levodopa, lidocaine (systemic), loxapine, magnesium sulfate, maprotiline, mirtazapine, molindone, nabilone (high doses), nefazodone, nitrates, olanzapine, opioid analgesics (including fentanyl, fentanyl and sufentanil), oxcarbazepine, paclitaxel, paliperidone, pentamidine, pentoxifylline, phenothiazines, pimozide, pramipexole, propofol, quetiapine, quinidine, radiopaques (materials used in x-ray studies), ranitidine risperidone, rituximab, ropinirole, sildenafil, thioxanthenes, tizanidine, tolcapone, trazodone, vancomycin, venlafaxine. If you take any of these medications, be sure to tell a dentist, anesthesiologist or anyone else who intends to give you an anesthetic to put you to sleep.
Hypothermia-Causing Medications Medicines that can cause a significant lowering of body temperature. These drugs include alcohol, alpha-adrenergic blocking agents (dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, labetalol, phenoxybenzamine, phentolamine, prazosin, tolazoline), barbiturates (large amounts), beta-adrenergic blocking agents, clonidine, insulin, minoxidil, narcotic analgesics (with overdose), phenothiazines, vasodilators.

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