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 ?
Teachers could have students look up online versions of 1905 newspapers to get an immediate impression of the number and quality of patent medicine advertisements.
The answer to this intriguing question is veiled in the history of patent medicines.
Pearson and Rollason, the printers of Aris's Gazette, similarly acted as sole Birmingham distributors for many of the patent medicines on the market.
As part of a curator's fellowship she was awarded through the Museum of Healthcare in Kingston, Ontario, Livingstone began researching a collection of patent medicine trade cards - and particularly the way in which women were depicted in the advertisements in the late 19th century.
The question was no longer whether you would drop dead from taking a single dose of bad patent medicine.
Today, herbal concoctions and other supplements are cooked up and marketed with wild abandon, with all the unrestrained, unverified boasting of the patent medicine era still on display.
Why does this sound like a carnie hawking patent medicine and magnetized amulets in a traveling show?
The result is From Stone Orchard: A Collection of Memories (HarperCanada), a delightful collection of essays and vignettes that bring to life such mundane activities as attending a country auction, being adopted by a stray cat, or excavating century-old patent medicine bottles from the kitchen garden.
The intimate, potentially sexual relationship between mesmerizer and subject -- so evident in the cover illustration, which comes from an early twentieth-century patent medicine advertisement -- was not permissible.
As early as 1893 the Illinois legislature had attempted to limit the popular use of opiates by imposing labeling requirements on patent medicine manufacturers.
She also posed as, among many others, a patent medicine merchant (to bribe a powerful lobbyist), a charity hospital patient, a chorus girl and even a female job applicant at newspapers (where she was routinely patronized).
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.