Chapter 27 – Some Common Medication Classifications

About the Author:
Mark Aquino is a registered nurse in California with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and Masters of Health Administration from West Coast University. He has at least 5 years of experience in the front lines as a visiting nurse in home health and hospice in direct patient care. He is author of OASIS NINJA: A Home Health Nurse’s Guide to Visits, Documentation, and Positive Patient Outcomes. This guide provides nurses with the information they need to provide quality care to their patients in the comfort of their own homes. He also writes books about how to live a good life and how to improve yourself on a daily basis such as Self Help Transformation: An Evidence-Based Approach to Personal Transformation for Mental Health, Physical Fitness, Relationships, and Career. You can also find all his books here. Learn more at

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There are many different classes of drugs, each with its own unique classification and effect on the body. Depending on the type of drug, drugs can be classified into two categories: prescription and non-prescription. OTC drugs include remedies for common maladies and are available in lower doses than prescribed. Here are some common classifications for common medications. Although not comprehensive, here are some examples of medication classifications you may encounter:

Anti-anxiety drugs

There are several different types of anti-anxiety medications. Most of these drugs are benzodiazepines, which are known as sedatives and work by reducing anxiety. Benzodiazepines are effective for treating short-term anxiety, such as the symptoms of a panic attack. Beta-blockers, on the other hand, are a type of medication used to control physical symptoms of anxiety.

Beta-blockers can help control blood pressure and heart conditions. These drugs can also help with physical anxiety symptoms, including sweating and heart racing. One of the most common beta-blockers prescribed for anxiety is propranolol, which is used for treating social anxiety. Mood-improving drugs, MAOIs, are originally prescribed for depression. They work by increasing the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps regulate mood.

Beta-blockers can reduce anxiety symptoms in the long term. Some benzodiazepines can be found in breast milk. Breast-feeding mothers should weigh the benefits of breastfeeding with the risks of drug exposure. Also, consider whether the mental health disorder is sufficiently treated or untreated by medication. The choice of an anti-anxiety drug should be based on its potential risks and benefits. When deciding on the best treatment for an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider.

Anxiety treatment with medication is a common practice. However, it can be expensive and requires consultation with a doctor. Therefore, choosing the right medication for your specific condition is essential. A physician will consider your medical history, and other factors such as the severity of your symptoms. Sometimes medication is the best solution for managing anxiety symptoms. Generally, medication for anxiety disorders is accompanied by psychotherapy. Exposure therapy and biofeedback can reduce anxiety. Stress management techniques are also an effective treatment.


Benzodiazepines are generally used to treat anxiety disorders. However, they are not appropriate for all patients. They can lead to side effects such as memory impairment and falling. Because of this, the American Geriatric Society and the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists have developed criteria for the use of benzodiazepines in older adults. These medications may also have unwanted side effects during pregnancy, including low birth weight, premature delivery, and developmental issues.

People who are suffering from anxiety or grief may benefit from taking benzodiazepines to help them relax and cope with their symptoms. If you have been taking benzodiazepines for several months or even years, you should seek medical advice and consult with your doctor. You should not exceed the recommended dosage for any length of time, because withdrawal symptoms can occur if you stop taking the medication prematurely.

Benzodiazepines are habit-forming drugs. They tend to be used for one purpose, but some have multiple uses. For example, some are used for muscle spasms, but these are off-label uses. A physician can decide to prescribe a specific benzodiazepine for a particular reason. Depending on the type and dosage, you may experience side effects from benzodiazepines in any amount.


Barbiturates are a class of sedatives and depressants derived from the parent compound barbituric acid. Their CNS-suppressing effects range from sedation to coma, and they may cause cardiovascular arrest. Barbiturates are marketed under many different names, including long-acting, intermediate-acting, and short-acting. Barbiturates are a class of drugs that are widely used, but their use is reducing as time passes.

These drugs are typically prescribed to older adults, as their effects on smooth muscle, heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure are much less serious. While barbiturates can cause physical dependence and overdose in older adults, barbiturates are also prescribed for children with a history of tension headaches and seizures. In the hospital, newborns can be given phenobarbital during withdrawal from opiates.

Overdose symptoms of barbiturates may include sluggishness, difficulty thinking, and slow speech. In extreme cases, the effects can lead to coma or death. The lethal dose of barbiturates depends on the user’s tolerance and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. While barbiturates are often prescribed as sleep aids, they have high risk of overdose and tolerance, and can be dangerous when used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and even addiction.

Barbiturates come in many forms, including the sedative pentobarbital (Nembutal), the long-acting phenobarbital, and the anticonvulsant acetobarbital. Historically, barbiturates were widely used to treat a variety of conditions. Despite this, their long-acting effects make them unsafe for prolonged use.


While you may have used a topical solution that contains diphenhydramine in the past, you may be wondering whether you should use this medicine to treat other conditions. The good news is that diphenhydramine is an antihistamine and can be used alone or in combination with other drugs. Common combinations include pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants, and muscle relaxants. However, before you take more than one medication for a cough, check to see which ones contain this active ingredient.

As a sedative, diphenhydramine can cause drowsiness in many patients. However, its calming effect has led it to become popular in non-prescription cough and cold medications. However, it is important to note that diphenhydramine may increase restlessness, and should never be taken in excess. Diphenhydramine is extensively metabolized by the liver. It is therefore not suitable for use in young children.

People should not take diphenhydramine for sleep in children younger than two years old. Children may be unaware of the effects of cough medicines, and misuse of this medication can be dangerous. Diphenhydramine should never be taken during dental surgery, as it can make the patient feel drowsy. Additionally, diphenhydramine may also interfere with certain medications, such as alcohol. As such, it is important to discuss the risks of diphenhydramine with your healthcare provider.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are drugs that reduce inflammation without using steroids. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Although NSAIDs are commonly used in the treatment of arthritis, they may also be prescribed to treat other conditions such as headaches, fever, sprains, and toothache. In addition to being pain relievers, NSAIDs can also prevent certain types of cancer.

A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is a type of pain reliever that blocks the production of cyclooxygenase enzymes, which are responsible for triggering inflammation. COX enzymes make prostaglandins, a substance that irritates nerve endings in the body. These chemicals are also part of the body’s temperature-control system, so they can have troublesome side effects if taken improperly.

NSAIDs are a class of medication used to treat various types of arthritis pain. Although they are often prescribed as a treatment for arthritis, they can have serious side effects and may interact with other medicines. For this reason, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs should be taken for only as long as necessary to achieve the desired results. Always consult with your physician before taking NSAIDs, as they may interact with other medicines.

NSAIDs can reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis by blocking the production of prostaglandins. These substances are the body’s main contributor to inflammation. The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also be harmful to the stomach lining, causing ulcers and bleeding. A number of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal side effects. A list of the most common side effects can be found below.

Etanercept for rheumatoid arthritis

A recent study in Japan looked at the relationship between the duration of RA and the response to etanercept (ETN). The researchers studied a total of 7,099 RA patients treated with ETN, and found that patients who received ETN experienced faster improvements in disease activity and fewer side effects. Patients with long-term disease duration were also older, had more comorbidities, were more likely to be diagnosed with allergies, and had lower morning stiffness and disease activity scores.

The drug belongs to a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor a inhibitors. Although it is approved for the treatment of various rheumatic diseases, the drug has been associated with several adverse reactions, including autoimmune skin disease. A 54-year-old woman developed subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus during her treatment with etanercept.

Although Etanercept can cause side effects, it is generally well-tolerated and is a promising treatment option for rheumatoid arthritic patients. The drug is a biologic tumor necrosis factor inhibitor and binds to TNF-alpha and -beta receptors. TNF-alpha binds to TNF receptor 1 and TNF receptor 2, and is responsible for activating inflammatory pathways. Etanercept blocks both TNF-alpha and -beta receptors, and is therefore highly effective in patients with psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid spondylitis.

Etanercept is the first anti-TNF agent approved for the treatment of RA. It was studied in both early and established disease and in combination with methotrexate. Etanercept reduced disease activity, improved function, and decreased the rate of mortality. The drug also has minimal adverse effects and a low incidence of infections. Among the approved uses for RA, Etanercept is also indicated for psoriatic arthritis, a related disease.

Sex hormones

There are three main classes of sex hormones, and these drugs are classified according to their function. Androgens are male hormones, while estrogens are female hormones. These drugs act by increasing the levels of the sex hormones in the body. They are produced by the ovaries and testes and control reproductive function and sexual development. Female sex hormones include estrogens, progestins, and testosterone.

While androgens are the most common sex hormones in men, females produce small amounts. Often, male sex hormones are used to treat hormonal deficiency or disorders of the testes. They may also be given to treat breast cancer in women. Synthetic steroids have fewer side effects than natural ones, and are often preferred. Anabolic steroids, on the other hand, have a body-building effect. These drugs are often used by people in competitive sports to enhance their physical performance.

While prescription and over-the-counter drugs that affect sexual function aren’t necessarily harmful, they can affect your ability to have sex. Certain drugs, including antihistamines, decongestants, and pain-relief medications, can affect your ability to ejaculate. The risk of side effects is much greater when multiple medications are used at once. In some cases, a person can experience sexual dysfunction without knowing that they are taking these medications.


Analgesics are medications that reduce inflammation and alter the brain’s perception of pain. They are available as tablets, liquids, gels, and patches. Some are available over-the-counter, while others require a prescription. Talk to your healthcare provider about which type will work best for your specific pain condition. You can also research the history of each type of analgesic to find out which one is right for you.

Analgesics have two general categories: non-prescription medications and prescription drugs. Non-prescription analgesics include acetaminophen and naproxen. These are designed to reduce acute pain and are generally not addictive. However, the effects of opioids are more severe and may lead to liver failure and respiratory depression if used incorrectly. Children should be evaluated for the potential for overdose before taking any medication.

While most analgesics are safe to take, some are classified as narcotic or opioid analgesics. Narcotic drugs are habit-forming and pose a significant risk of addiction. In addition to the risk of addiction, opioids can be addictive and should be used under strict supervision. A healthcare professional will be able to guide you regarding the proper dosage and duration for your pain condition.

The two most popular analgesics for pain relief are non-opioid and narcotic. These medications are generally prescribed only after a patient has completed their chronic pain medication. Despite the dangers, non-opioid analgesics are generally safe and rarely cause addiction. Opioid analgesics may cause dependency, which can lead to physical dependence and addiction.


Although opioids have a variety of uses and are often prescribed by a doctor, they also carry a number of risks and complications. These medications are available in both immediate and extended-release forms and are classified according to their potential for abuse or dependence. They can be grouped into Schedule I, II, and III, as determined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Here’s a quick overview of the main categories of opioids:

Opiates are a class of drugs that affect the central nervous system, or the brain. These drugs block the release of chemicals that cause the body to feel pain, such as opiates and a variety of other stimulants. Opioids are highly addictive and often come with a high risk of dependence. They are commonly prescribed for pain management and are derived from the poppy plant, but some are synthetic and semi-synthetic. Common opioids include oxycodone, fentanyl, and codeine. These substances are also commonly abused.

The FDA considers opioids a public health emergency, and has set a high priority on addressing this crisis. Prescription opioids are causing over 42,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and are the leading cause of addiction and death in the United States. Despite this, there are safe and effective alternatives for treating pain. They are known to be effective for relieving many common types of pain, but do not work as well as other drugs.


The class of medications known as antihypertensives includes several types of drugs that lower blood pressure. These medications work by removing extra fluid from the blood, widening blood vessels, or blocking the effects of certain natural hormones. The choice of medication depends on the blood pressure level and other medical conditions a patient has. This article will provide an overview of common medication classifications for antihypertensives.

Diuretics – the first antihypertensive – are well understood and have a long history of research. They are the most effective blood pressure lowering drugs, particularly when combined with dietary salt restriction. Their side effects are relatively rare, predictable, and manageable. The ALLHAT trial (which involved nearly 10,000 patients) showed that diuretics and ACEIs were not significantly better than diuretics, nor did calcium channel blockers.

Monotherapy – One option for treating high blood pressure is sequential monotherapy. This treatment method differs from the eighth Joint National Committee’s recommendations, which recommended pushing an initial drug to its maximum recommended dose, then adding a second drug. This treatment method reduces the risk of heart failure and kidney failure. But, it does have some potential side effects. The dosage of an antihypertensive drug must be monitored closely, as a higher dose could lead to side effects.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers – These are the second most common antihypertensives in Japan. These drugs inhibit the strong actions of AII, such as vasoconstriction. They also inhibit sympathetic activity and body fluid retention. Moreover, they are essential part of any multidrug treatment regimen. Regardless of the antihypertensive drug that is prescribed, thiazide diuretics increase the efficacy of all other antihypertensives.

Thyroid agents

Thyroid drugs can be classified into two categories: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is the symptom of overactive thyroid glands. Thyroid drugs are used to suppress the production of thyroid hormones. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be effectively treated with thyroid medications. Although the majority of patients with hyperthyroidism do not require treatment, a patient may require a dosage adjustment or a change in their current drugs. This can be accomplished with a printable guide to their doctor’s office.

The first type of hypothyroidism medication is synthetic thyroid, which is man-made and given in the form of a tablet, capsule, or oral liquid. It was FDA-approved in 2000. Before then, the only option for treatment of hypothyroidism was to take desiccated thyroid extracts from cows or pigs, known as natural thyroid. Thyroid hormones can interact with many different classes of drugs and even individual drugs. The most common drug interactions involve warfarin, digoxin, and certain antacids.

Antithyroid drugs are also known as agonists or antagonists of the thyroid hormone thyroglobulin receptor. They interfere with the activity of thyroid peroxidase (TPO), preventing TPO from coupling iodotyrosine to thyroid hormones. Despite the fact that they can be effective, these medications can cause significant side effects in patients. However, the long-term effect is often worth the risk.

Drug classifications are based on potential medical uses

Drug classifications are based on several factors, including the chemical composition of the drug, its intended medical use, and the grouping of similar drugs. The goal is to make each drug as safe as possible while ensuring that it serves its intended medical purpose. Classifications help patients understand the benefits and risks of a particular drug. For example, one class may affect the actions of another drug, making the latter less effective or creating a different set of side effects.

Drugs are classified according to their potential medical uses and abuse risks. Although Congress did not specify what constitutes abuse in the Controlled Substances Act, federal agencies typically define abuse as any use that can cause harm to a person or society. Drugs classified as “abused” are likely to be misused or abused, and the FDA requires these drugs to go through clinical trials before they can enter the market.

There are five schedules for drugs. Each schedule has different levels of abuse and potential medical use. Usually, a drug falls into one of these categories if it can be used for medical purposes and has no abuse potential. Drug classifications can be confusing, but it is important to remember that the law only requires drugs that are not illegal to be classified as such. For example, anabolic steroids and ketamine are both listed as Schedule III drugs. Meanwhile, valium, Ativan, and Ambien are classified as Schedule IV drugs. These drugs are typically used for analgesic, antidiarrheal, and antitussive purposes. Drug classifications can be difficult to follow, and experts disagree on the standards for what constitutes an abuseable drug.

Pharmacology is another field that benefits from the knowledge of drug classifications. These systems group drugs according to their chemical composition, mechanism of action, and potential medical use. Drug classifications help physicians identify drugs that are similar in chemical structure, but have different medical or legal implications. For example, some drugs are addictive while others are not, and so they often share the same treatment methods. But the same treatment plan might be used for one person while ineffective for another.

The most important aspect of drug classifications is the way they affect people. For example, the classification system has developed for antidepressants that act on a neurotransmitter, serotonin. These medications also have a positive effect on anxiety and personality disorders. A few other drugs affect the central nervous system, including ketamine. They also have a hypnotic effect. Among the benzodiazepines and barbiturates are categorized as hypnotics.

There are five schedules of drugs. Schedule 1 drugs are those that have no medical value and are classified as illegal. Schedule 2 drugs have some medical value and receive more regulatory scrutiny. Lastly, drugs classified as schedule 5 are those that have some medical value, but not enough to warrant their classification. They may have a recreational or medical purpose, but their regulatory restrictions are not the same. In addition to this, the classification of marijuana has different regulations than alcohol and tobacco.

Potential for misuse

The NSDUH surveys include a variety of prescription drugs, including tranquilizers, sedatives, and stimulants. Misuse of these drugs refers to use without a physician’s prescription, in greater quantities, or for longer periods than prescribed. It does not include the misuse of over-the-counter medications, such as cold medications. In the latest report, four common drug categories are combined into a single category called psychotherapeutics.

In addition to the common medications, a number of other types of medication may be misused. Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs include opioid painkillers, stimulants, and herbal medicines. Of the prescription drugs, stimulants are particularly susceptible to abuse, which results in the need for tighter regulations and more effective treatment. However, there are several ways to spot the signs of misuse of any drug, including knowing the potential for addiction and avoiding the wrong type.

Addiction risk

While there is no one single cause of addiction, there are several factors that can influence a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted. Drug use often occurs during difficult life circumstances. Peer pressure can be particularly strong for young people, and their social situations can increase their likelihood of becoming addicted. Family situations with little or no parental supervision are also risk factors for addiction. And of course, genetics can influence a person’s drug use.

Opioid painkillers, in particular, pose the greatest risk for addiction. The high that these drugs produce may become addictive relatively quickly. And people may become dependent on them, requiring high doses to achieve a high. Because of the intense withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with drug use, they may require professional help to remain drug-free. Fortunately, the majority of prescription medications are not as addictive as many may believe.

About the Author:
Mark Aquino is a registered nurse in California with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and Masters of Health Administration from West Coast University. He has at least 5 years of experience in the front lines as a visiting nurse in home health and hospice in direct patient care. He is author of OASIS NINJA: A Home Health Nurse’s Guide to Visits, Documentation, and Positive Patient Outcomes. This guide provides nurses with the information they need to provide quality care to their patients in the comfort of their own homes. He also writes books about how to live a good life and how to improve yourself on a daily basis such as Self Help Transformation: An Evidence-Based Approach to Personal Transformation for Mental Health, Physical Fitness, Relationships, and Career. You can also find all his books here. Learn more at

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