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 ?
The story of patent medicines begins in seventeenth century England with the Crowns' issue of a patent for Anderson's Scots Pills.
Livingstone began her presentation by discussing the mass popularity of patent medicines during the 19th century, especially for people who could not afford more expensive prescription drugs.
In 1905, the AMA created the council to evaluate the validity of the claims made on behalf of patent medicines, awarding a "seal of approval" to any drug it regarded as safe and effective.
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.
These drugs were no longer legally available without a physician's prescription, most city drugstores exercised careful scrutiny over sales, and the patent medicines which had thrived on their opiate or cocaine content were rapidly disappearing from the market.
The kindly title character of Doctor Thorne (1858) weds a wealthy patent medicine heiress in Framley Parsonage (1861), a novel largely concerned with the financial scrapes of young vicar Mark Robarts.
Gun defenders and their well-oiled lobby are not ashamed to use the rhetorical trick that once served the phony con men selling worthless patent medicine from the back of their wagons: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
The new patent medicine not only restores vim and vigor to ailing vegetation, he says, but also helps plants ward off insect attack.
Sometimes Patent Medicine Works: A Reply to Braaten, Kauffman, Braaten, Polsgrove, and Nelson
Moxie was a patent medicine energetically promoted by its manufacturer, Dr.
There is one other patent medicine that my mate's parents gave them once a week and that was brimstone and treacle and believe me, you did not want to be around them three or four hours later.