patent medicine

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patent medicine,

packaged drugsdrugs,
substances used in medicine either externally or internally for curing, alleviating, or preventing a disease or deficiency. At the turn of the century only a few medically effective substances were widely used scientifically, among them ether, morphine, digitalis,
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 that can be obtained without prescription; the term was formerly used to describe quack remedies sold by peddlers. Patent, or proprietary, medicines are advertised to the public by trade name, purport to be effective against minor disorders and symptoms, and are packaged with directions for use. Antisepticsantiseptic,
agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms on the external surfaces of the body. Antiseptics should generally be distinguished from drugs such as antibiotics that destroy microorganisms internally, and from disinfectants, which destroy microorganisms
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, analgesicsanalgesic
, any of a diverse group of drugs used to relieve pain. Analgesic drugs include the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the salicylates, acetaminophen, narcotic drugs such as morphine, and synthetic drugs with morphinelike action such as meperidine
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, some sedativessedative,
any of a variety of drugs that relieve anxiety. Most sedatives act as mild depressants of the nervous system, lessening general nervous activity or reducing the irritability or activity of a specific organ.
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, laxativeslaxative,
drug or other substance used to stimulate the action of the intestines in eliminating waste from the body. The term laxative usually refers to a mild-acting substance; substances of increasingly drastic action are known as cathartics, purgatives, hydrogogues,
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, and antacidsantacid,
any one of several basic substances that counteract stomach acidity (see stomach). Antacids are used by physicians to treat hyperchlorhydria, i.e., the excessive production of hydrochloric acid by the parietal cells lining the stomach.
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, cold and cough medicines, and various skin preparations are included in the group. Sale of proprietary medicines is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which evaluates preparations as to their safety and effectiveness.

patent medicine

[′pat·ənt ′med·ə·sən]
(pharmacology)
A medicine, generally trademarked, whose composition is incompletely disclosed.

patent medicine

a medicine protected by a patent and available without a doctor's prescription
References in periodicals archive ?
Readers of Paul Starr's The Social Transformation of American Medicine (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1982) will recognize some familiar history in the formation of the medical profession and its battle with the ethics of patent medicines.
The controversies about the 1905 patent medicines could be contrasted with current issues surrounding nutritional supplement vendors who want their products to be exempt from the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.
I can't do justice to them without quoting, in all their marvelous detail, one patent medicine peddler's litany of things that threatened our grandparents and great-grandparents in the gory and glory days of yesteryear.
The story of patent medicines begins in seventeenth century England with the Crowns' issue of a patent for Anderson's Scots Pills.
Avandia[R] (rosiglitazone) and Actos[R] (pioglitazone): Use of the diabetes patent medicines Avandia[R] or Actos[R] for more than a year doubles to triples risk of hip fractures.
Medical care was expensive, so you bought cheaper patent medicines hoping they would work.
The tragic history of laudanum, morphine and patent medicines.
By the time the Depression hit, officials at the Bureau of Chemistry (which was re-christened the Food and Drug Administration in 1930) were waging an active public relations campaign against patent medicines and lobbying for tougher regulations of drug labels and advertising.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), which seized back control of patent medicines from the FDA, was passed after strenuous lobbying from supplement manufacturers, and this legislation removed all herbs, vitamins, and minerals from FDA oversight--despite the fact that herbs are drugs, exhibiting a full range of effectiveness (or ineffectiveness), dangerous side effects, and interactions with other drugs.
From patent medicines to washing machines to horse powers, the postal guide was nearly as good as Sears & Roebuck.
Patent medicines were products, usually with trademarks rather than patents, that were sold in elaborate road shows--road shows lampooned in movies and cartoons in the 1930s.