M

Macrophages They have the ability to recognise and ingest all foreign antigens through receptors on the surface of their cell membranes. 50% of all macrophages are found in the Kupffer cells of the liver.

Malic acid Found is some fruits such as apples. Active in aerobic metabolism of carbohydrates.

Maltase A salivary and pancreatic enzyme that acts on maltose hydrolysing it to glucose.

Maltose A disaccharide present in malt, malt products and sprouting seeds. Maltase hydrolyses it to glucose.

Maltotriose A small carbohydrate produced by the action of salivary Amylase on starch.

Mast cells Cells which are located in the connective tissue just below epithelial surfaces, serous cavities and around blood vessels. They synthe size and store histamine. When stimulated they release all mediators of inflammation including leukotrienes. They produce the signs of hypersensitivity reactions.

Matrix-diffusion controlled system A controlled release device whose release rate is determined by the diffusion rate of the drug through a polymer matrix.

M-Cells these cells are located in the small intestine where they play an important part in the immune system. They lack fully developed microvilli, but are pinocytic and contain many vesicles.

MDR See multi-drug resistance.

Medoxyprogesterone acetate A progestational agent used intramuscularly.

Meibomian glands One of the sebaceous glands between the tarsi and conjunctiva of eyelids.

Pectoral muscle Chest muscle.

Penbutolol A 6 adrenergic blocking drug.

Penetration enhancers Compounds which promote absorption of drugs. Usually their action is non-specific.

Penicillin One of a group of antibiotics biosynthesized by several species of mold.

Pepsin Chief enzyme of gastric juice which converts proteins into proteoses and peptones. It is formed by the chief cells of the gastric glands.

Pepsinogen Pepsin precursor.

Peptides Building blocks of proteins formed from amino acids.

Perfusion Passing of fluid through spaces.

Perimysium Connective tissue sheath which envelops each bundle of muscle fibres.

Periodontal disease Disease of the supporting structures of the teeth.

Periodontitis Inflammation or degeneration or both of the dental periostium, alveolar bone, cementum and adjacent gingiva.

Periodontosis Any degenerative disease of the periodontal tissues.

Peritoneum The serous membrane reflected over the viscera and lining of the abdominal cavity.

Persorption Sloughing off of cells from the tips of villi in the small intestine leaves a gap through which particles can enter the blood stream.

Pessaries drug delivery device or supporting structure inserted into the vagina.

Pethidine Also known as Peridine. Opioid analgesic used for moderate to severe pain.

Petrolatum A purified semisolid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum.

Petrolatum based jelly A purified semisolid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum which is decolourised and stabilized.

Peyer's patches An aggregation of lymph nodules found chiefly in the ileum near to its junction with the colon. They are circular or oval and about 1 cm wide and 2-3 cm long.

pH Measurement of acidity and alkalinity ranging from 0 (acid) to 14 (alkaline). pH 7 is neutral. Formula is pH=-log[H+]. As the scale is logarithmic, there is a 10 fold difference between each unit.

pH-partition hypothesis The principle that drug passage through a membrane is controlled by the ph of the environment since this controls the ionization of the drug, which can only be absorbed in its unionized state.

Phagocytosis Ingestion and digestion of bacteria and particles by phagocytes.

Pharmacokinetics Study of the metabolism and action of drugs with particular emphasis on the time required for absorption, duration of action, distribution in the body and method of excretion.

Phenobarbital A hypnotic drug.long-acting sedative and anti-convulsant.

Phenol red A dye used an a pH indicator.

Phenylalanine An aromatic amino-acid.

Phenylephrine Vasoconstrictor and pressor drug similar to adrenaline, but more stable.

Phlebitis Irritation of a blood vessel.

Phonation Speaking; the act of making a sound.

Phosphatidylcholine (PC) One of the commonest phospholipids, consisting of a glycerol backbone in which the 1- and 2-alcohol groups are esterified to fatty acids, while the 3-alcohol is esterified to a phosphate group. The phosphate is in turn joined to a headgroup, which is choline in the case of phosphaticylcholine.

Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) A phospholipid in which the headgroup is ethanolamine. See phosphatidylycholine.

Phosphatidylinositol (PI) A phospholipid in which the headgroup is inositol. See phosphatidylycholine.

Phosphatidylserine (PS) A phospholipid in which the headgroup is serine. See phosphatidylycholine.

Phosphoglucomutase An enzyme which interconverts glucose-1 phosphate and glucose-6-phosphate.

Phospholipid; stealth A phospholipid carrying an ethylene oxide chain attached to the headgroup, which forms a heavily hydrated outer layer when the phospholipid is formed into liposomes. This reduces the extent which the liposomes are recognised by the reticuloendothelial system.

Pilocarpine Alkaloid which is used to cause contraction of the pupil.

Pituitary hormones Hormones secreted from the pituitary gland which regulate many body processes. These include growth hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone which regulates functional activity of the adrenal cortex, thyrotropic hormone which regulates activity of the thyroid gland and gonadotrophic hormone amongst others.

Plaque A patch on the skin or on a mucous surface. A blood platelet. Dental plaque is a gummy mass of microorganisms that grows on the crowns and spreads along the roots of teeth. These are the forerunner of caries.

Plasma membrane The outer membrane of the cell, composed of phospholipids, proteins, etc.

Platelets A round or oval disk 2 to 4 ^m in diameter found in the blood. They are important for coagulation.

Plicae semilunares Transverse fold of mucosa of the large intestine lying between sacculations.

Pluronic® Trade name for a range of poly (ethylene oxide)-poly (propylene oxide)-poly (ethylene oxide) triblock copolymers widely used in drug formulation and delivery.

pMDI See pressurized metered dose inhalers.

Polyacrylic acid A copolymer of acrylic acid.

Polyalkylene glycols Block copolymers of the form HO-(R-O)-H where R is any alkyl group. Polyethylene glycol and polypropylene glycol are the most commonly encountered.

Polycarbophil Generic name for crosslinked acrylic acid copolymers used as thickening agents and bioadhesives.

Polyethylene One of the earliest polymers, consisting of a long alkyl chain, formed by polymerizing ethylene.

Polyps A tumor with a pedicle. Commonly found in vascular organs such as the nose, uterus and rectum.

Polysaccharides Biopolymers formed from chains of carbohydrate (sugar) molecules.

Polysorbates Complicated surfactants formed by esterifying sorbitol with fatty acids to render it hydrophobic, and conjugating poly (ethylene oxide) to provide hydrophilic groups. Available commercially as the Tween® series of surfactants.

Polyurethane A polymer widely used in medical devices such as catheters.

Polyvinyl alcohol A water soluble polymer made by polymerizing vinyl alcohol, commonly used as a surfactant and viscosity enhancer in drug delivery systems.

Polyvinylpyrrolidone A polymer used as a swelling agent and binder in formulation.

Positron emission tomography (PET) Reconstruction imaging of various organs by using various positron emitting isotopes.

Prazosin A drug used in treating hypertension.

Prednisolone A glucocorticosteroid drug.

Preservatives Compounds added to a formulation to enhance stability. They include antibacterials, antioxidants, and chelating agents.

Pressurized metered dose inhalers Miniature aerosols which use a metering valve to eject a fixed dose of drug for inhalation therapy.

Progesterone A steroid hormone obtained from the corpus luteum and placenta. It is responsible for the changes in the endometrium in the second half of the menstrual cycle.

Progestin A corpus luteum hormone which prepares the endometrium for implantation of the fertilized ovum.

Prolapse A falling or dropping of an organ or internal part e.g. uterus or rectum.

Proline An amino-acid.

Promethazine An anti-histamine.

Propranolol A 6 adrenergic blocking drug.

Propylene glycol Propane (1, 2 diol), a solvent widely used in the forulation of creams and injectables.

Prostaglandins A large group of biologically active unsaturated fatty acids. They are short range autocoids which have a wide range of actions including lipolysis, fluid balance, platelet aggregation, blood flow, gastrointestinal function, neurotransmission, pancreatic endocrine function and corpus luteum regression.

Prostap A morphiate narcotic antagonist.

Proteoglycans Structural polysaccharides found in cartilage.

Ptyalin Salivary enzyme which hydrolyses starch and glycogen to maltose and a small amount of glucose.

Pylorectomy Surgical removal of the pylorus.

Pyloroplasty Operation to repair the pylorus especially one to increase the diameter of the pylorus by stretching.

Pyrogens Any substance which induces fever.

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