Anticholinergic: Opposing the actions of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Anticholinergic drugs inhibit the transmission of parasympathetic nerve impulses, thereby reducing spasms of smooth muscles (for example, muscles in the bladder). Side effects of anticholinergic medications include dry mouth and related dental problems, blurred vision, tendency toward overheating (hyperpyrexia), and in some cases, dementia-like symptoms.
Anticipation: The progressively earlier appearance and increased severity of a disease from generation to generation. The phenomenon of anticipation was once thought to be an artifact, but a biological basis for it has been discovered in a number of genetic disorders, such as myotonic dystrophy and Huntington disease.
- Anticipatory grief
Anticipatory grief: The normal mourning that occurs when a patient or family is expecting a death. Anticipatory grief has many of the same symptoms as those experienced after a death has occurred. It includes all of the thinking, feeling, cultural, and social reactions to an expected death that are felt by the patient and family. […]
Anticoagulant: An agent that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. Anticoagulants have various uses. Some are used for the prevention or treatment of disorders characterized by abnormal blood clots and emboli. Anticoagulant drugs include intravenous heparin, which acts by inactivating thrombin and several other clotting factors that are required for a clot […]
- Anticoagulant agent
Anticoagulant agent: A medication used to prevent the formation of blood clots and to maintain open blood vessels. Anticoagulants are called blood “thinners,” but they do not thin the blood, they only prevent or reduce clots, or thrombi. Anticoagulants have various uses. Some are used for the prophylaxis (prevention) or the treatment of thromboembolic disorders, […]
Anticonvulsant: A medication used to control (prevent) seizures (convulsions) or stop an ongoing series of seizures. There are a large number of anticonvulsant drugs today including, but not limited to: phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine, ethosuximide (Zarontin), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and midazolam (Versed). Anticonvulsant drugs taken during pregnancy put the baby at risk […]