Glossary Of Terms

P - T

Productive cough
A productive cough is a cough that results in the coughing up of mucus or phlegm from the chest.

Pseudoephedrine
A medicine used to reduce congestion and swelling in the nose, sinuses and respiratory system. Pseudoephedrine belongs to the group of medicines known as decongestants.

Purgative
A purgative is a laxative. The term usually refers to a type of laxative that causes quick clearing of stool from the bowel.

Rhinovirus
A type of virus that causes the common cold and some other respiratory infections. There are over 90 different types of rhinoviruses that cause the common cold.

Rubbing alcohol
A type of alcohol used to clean and disinfect the skin and skin wounds. Rubbing alcohol compound is sometimes used as a rub for sore muscles.

Skeletal muscle relaxant
Any medicine that is used to relax the muscles. Skeletal muscle relaxants are often used when someone has low back pain or a stiff neck resulting from muscles that have tightened up or gone into 'spasm'.

Sprain
A sprain is an injury that results from overuse or trauma to a ligament (a tissue that connects bones).

Sputum
Sputum is a secretion containing mucus that has been spit up from the lungs and through the mouth.

Stimulant laxative
Laxatives that stimulate increase the activity of the walls of the bowel to move stools through to the rectum more quickly. Stimulant laxatives should be used on an occasional basis only unless otherwise directed by a doctor.

Stool
The solid waste that passes through the rectum as bowel movements.

Stool softener
Medicines that help to soften the stool, making it easier for the stool to pass through the rectum without straining.

Suppository
A dosage form of medicine that is designed to melt and deliver medication when inserted into the entrances of the body (e.g., rectum, vagina, urethra, mouth or throat).

Tourniquet
A device used to squeeze an artery or vein in order to stop heavy bleeding in the case of an injury. A loosely applied tourniquet can reduce blood flow in the veins near the skin, making it easier for a doctor or nurse to find a suitable place for an injection, or to draw blood from.