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  • Tramadol

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    Tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram among others, is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. When taken by mouth in an immediate-release formulation, the onset of pain relief usually begins within an hour. It is also available by injection. It may be sold in combined with paracetamol (acetaminophen) or as longer acting formulations. Common side effects include constipation, itchiness, and nausea. Serious side effects may include seizures, increased risk of serotonin syndrome, decreased alertness, and drug addiction. A change in dosage may be recommended in those with kidney or liver problems. It is not recommended in those who are at risk of suicide or in those who are pregnant. While not recommended in women who are breastfeeding, those who take a single dose should not generally stop breastfeeding. Tramadol acts by binding to the μ-opioid receptor of the neuron and is also a serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It is converted in the liver to O-desmethyltramadol, an opioid with stronger binding to the μ-opioid receptor. Tramadol was launched under the name "Tramal" in 1977 by the West German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH. In the mid 1990s it was approved in the United Kingdom and the United States. It is available as a generic medication and marketed under many brand names worldwide. In the United States the wholesale cost is less than US$0.05 per dose as of 2018. In 2016 it was the 39th most prescribed medication in the United States with more than 19 million prescriptions.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

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    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints. It typically results in warm, swollen, and painful joints. Pain and stiffness often worsen following rest. Most commonly, the wrist and hands are involved, with the same joints typically involved on both sides of the body. The disease may also affect other parts of the body. This may result in a low red blood cell count, inflammation around the lungs, and inflammation around the heart. Fever and low energy may also be present. Often, symptoms come on gradually over weeks to months. While the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not clear, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The underlying mechanism involves the body's immune system attacking the joints. This results in inflammation and thickening of the joint capsule. It also affects the underlying bone and cartilage. The diagnosis is made mostly on the basis of a person's signs and symptoms. X-rays and laboratory testing may support a diagnosis or exclude other diseases with similar symptoms. Other diseases that may present similarly include systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriatic arthritis, and fibromyalgia among others. The goals of treatment are to reduce pain, decrease inflammation, and improve a person's overall functioning. This may be helped by balancing rest and exercise, the use of splints and braces, or the use of assistive devices. Pain medications, steroids, and NSAIDs are frequently used to help with symptoms. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as hydroxychloroquine and methotrexate, may be used to try to slow the progression of disease. Biological DMARDs may be used when disease does not respond to other treatments. However, they may have a greater rate of adverse effects. Surgery to repair, replace, or fuse joints may help in certain situations. Most alternative medicine treatments are not supported by evidence. RA affects about 24.5 million people as of 2015. This is between 0.5 and 1% of adults in the developed world with 5 and 50 per 100,000 people newly developing the condition each year. Onset is most frequent during middle age and women are affected 2.5 times as frequently as men. In 2013, it resulted in 38,000 deaths up from 28,000 deaths in 1990. The first recognized description of RA was made in 1800 by Dr. Augustin Jacob Landré-Beauvais (1772–1840) of Paris. The term rheumatoid arthritis is based on the Greek for watery and inflamed joints.

  • Anticoagulant

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    Anticoagulants, commonly referred to as blood thinners, are chemical substances that prevent or reduce coagulation of blood, prolonging the clotting time. Some of them occur naturally in blood-eating animals such as leeches and mosquitoes, where they help keep the bite area unclotted long enough for the animal to obtain some blood. As a class of medications, anticoagulants are used in therapy for thrombotic disorders. Oral anticoagulants (OACs) are taken by many people in pill or tablet form, and various intravenous anticoagulant dosage forms are used in hospitals. Some anticoagulants are used in medical equipment, such as test tubes, blood transfusion bags, and dialysis equipment. Anticoagulants are closely related to antiplatelet drugs and thrombolytic drugs by manipulating the various pathways of blood coagulation. Specifically, antiplatelet drugs inhibit platelet aggregation (clumping together), whereas anticoagulants inhibit the coagulation cascade by clotting factors that happens after the initial platelet aggregation. Common anticoagulants include warfarin and heparin.

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