Glossary

Our glossary explains some of the medical and legal terms used in palliative care. Glossary words are underlined in the Topics and Asked and Answered sections, with definitions appearing when you hover on a word.


 

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Anticonvulsant

A type of medication used to treat people who have seizures. Can also be used to treat burning, tingling, and stabbing (shock-like) pain related to nerve damage. Requires a prescription.

Antidepressant

A type of medication used to treat depression. Can also be used to treat burning, tingling, and stabbing (shock-like) pain related to nerve damage. Requires a prescription.

Antiemetic / Antinauseant

A type of medication used to treat or prevent nausea. Available with or without a prescription.

Antihistamine

A type of medication used to treat or prevent symptoms of an allergic response (itch, rash, redness, swelling). Available with or without a prescription.

Anxiety

An emotional state that includes some combination of fear, sense of dread, unease, stress and worry. Often accompanied by physical sensations (nausea, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, or tension headaches).

Apnea

Interruptions or very long pauses in breathing. Commonly occurs during sleep.

Ascites

An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity, caused by changes in the way that fluid is moved through the body.

Aspiration

Breathing a liquid or object into the lungs accidentally.