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angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors

A group of drugs used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

angiotensin receptor blocker

One of a group of drugs used to treat high blood pressure.

angiotensin receptor blockers

A group of drugs used to treat high blood pressure.

angular cheilitis

Inflammation at the corner of the mouth causing splits in the skin, often due to Candida infection.

ankylosing spondylitis

A type of chronic arthritis affecting the sacro-iliac joints (between the spine and the pelvis) and the vertebral joints of the spine

anorexia

A loss of appetite resulting in weight loss. Anorexia nervosa is a psychological illness in which self-starvation leads to weight loss.

anorexia nervosa

An eating disorder characterised by severe weight loss and altered self-image that leads sufferers to believe that they are overweight when they are in fact dangerously underweight. It most often affects teenaged girls and young women but the incidence in young men is rising.

anosmia

Loss of the sense of smell.

anovulatory cycle

A menstrual cycle in which ovulation fails to occur.

antagonists

Drugs that are used to counter the effects of naturally occurring chemicals in the body.

anti-androgenic drugs

Hormonal medication that antagonises the actions of androgens (male hormones).

anti-inflammatory

Any drug that suppresses inflammation

anti-reflux surgery

Surgery to prevent reflux, or the backflow of liquid.

antibiotics

Medication to treat infections caused by microbes (organisms that can't be seen with the naked eye), such as bacteria.

antibodies

Special proteins in the blood that are produced in response to a specific antigen and play a key role in immunity and allergy.

antibody

One of a group of special proteins in the blood that are produced in response to a specific antigen and play a key role in immunity and allergy.

anticholinergics

A group of drugs that block nerve impulses in the parasympathetic nervous system.

anticoagulant

A medication that prevens blood from clotting, or which reduces the likelihood of the blood to clot.

antigen

A substance that prompts the immune system to fight infection with antibodies.

antigenic variability

A change in the antigens on the surface of a microbe, which may result in it escaping detection by the immune system.

antihistamine

A drug that blocks the action of histamine in the body; these are used to treat conditions such as hay fever.

antimitichondrial antibody

An antibody that form against mitochondria, which are an important part of cells.

antioxidant

A chemical that can neutralise damaging substances called oxygen free radicals.

antiphospholipid syndrome

Also known as Hughes syndrome. A type of autoimmune disease, caused by overactivity of the immune system. It is associated with thrombosis and, in women of childbearing age, recurrent miscarriage.