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AC Adenylate cyclase

ACE Angiotensin-converting enzyme

ACS Acute coronary syndrome

ACTH Adrenocorticotropic hormone

ADH Antidiuretic hormone

ADHD Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

ADP Adenosine diphosphate

ANS Autonomic nervous system

AP Action potential

ATP Adenosine triphosphate

ATPase Adenosine triphosphatase

AV Atrioventricular


BBB Blood brain barrier

BP Blood pressure

BPH Benign prostatic hypertrophy

BMT Bone marrow transplant


CA Cancer

CAD Coronary artery disease

CABG Coronary artery bypass graft

cAMP Cyclic adenosine monophosphate

CF Cystic fibrosis

cGMP Cyclic guanosine monophosphate

CHF Congestive heart failure

CMV Cytomegalovirus

CNS Central nervous system

CO Cardiac output

COMT Catechol-o-methyltransferase

COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COX Cyclooxygenase

CPR Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

CRH Corticotropin-releasing hormone

CSF Cerebrospinal fluid

CTZ Chemoreceptor trigger zone

CV Cardiovascular

CVA Cerebrovascular accident

CVS Cardiovascular system


DAG Diacylglycerol


EC Extracellular

ECF Extracellular fluid

EEG Electroencephalogram

ENT Ear, nose, and throat

EPS Extrapyramidal side effects


FDA Food and Drug Administration


G+ Gram-positive

G- Gram-negative

G6PD Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase

GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease

GFR Glomerular filtration rate

GI Gastrointestinal

GTP Guanosine triphosphate

GU Genitourinary


5-HT Serotonin

Hb Hemoglobin

HDL High-density lipoprotein

HIT Heparin induced thrombocytopenia

HIV Human immunodeficiency virus

HMG-CoA Hepatic hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A

HR Heart rate

HSV Herpes simplex virus


IBD Inflammatory bowel disease

IC Intracellular

IDDM Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

IHSS Idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis

IL Interleukin

IM Intramuscular

IP3 Inositol 1, 4, 5-triphosphate

ISA Intrinsic sympathomimetic activity

IV Intravenous


LDL Low-density lipoprotein

LFT Liver function tests

Lp(a) Lipoprotein little A antigen

LTU Long-term use


MI Myocardial infarction

MAO Monoamine oxidase

MOA Mechanism of action

MRSA Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

MSA Membrane stabilizing activity


nAch Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

NIDDM Non--insulin dependent diabetes mellitus

NM Neuromuscular

NMJ Neuromuscular junction

NO Nitrous oxide

NRTI Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor

NSAID Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

NSR Normal sinus rhythm

NT Neurotransmitter


OA Osteoarthritis

OR Operating room

OTC Over the counter


PABA Para-aminobenzoic acid

PCI Percutaneous

PCP Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia

PDE Phosphodiesterase

PID Pelvic inflammatory disease

pKa Negative logarithm of acid ionization constant

PO Oral administration

PSVT Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia

PTT Partial thromboplastin time

PUD Peptic ulcer disease

PVD Peripheral vascular disease


RA Rheumatoid arthritis

RAS Reticular activating system

REM Rapid eye movement

RTA Renal tubular acidosis


SA Sinoatrial

SC Subcutaneous

SIADH Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (secretion)

SLE Systemic lupus erythematosus

SOA Site of action

SSRI Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

SVT Supraventricular tachycardia


TB Tuberculosis

TCA Tricyclic antidepressant

TG Triglyceride

THC Tetrahydrocannabinol

TIA Transient ischemic attack

TNF Tumor necrosis factor

TPR Total peripheral resistance


UA Unstable angina

URI Upper respiratory infection

USMLE United States Medical Licensing Examination

UTI Urinary tract infection


VLDL Very low-density lipoprotein

VZV Varicella-zoster virus


A: Administration or Absorption

B: Biotransformation or plasma protein binding

D: Distribution

DOA: Duration of action

E: Excretion

M: Metabolism

OOA: Onset of action

R: Redistribution

t½: Half-life

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