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Words used to describe medical treatments, appliances and medicines

antenatal

adjective

relating to the medical care of pregnant women, or to the time before a baby is born

antibacterial

adjective

effective in killing bacteria

aseptic

adjective

not infected with bacteria, or preventing infection from bacteria

bionic

adjective

bionic body parts are artificial electronic parts that replace body parts that have been removed or do not work correctly

bloodless

adjective

without giving someone blood during a medical operation

broad-spectrum

adjective

able to be used against a wide range of different illnesses or insects

clear

adjective

if a medical test is clear, it shows that there is nothing wrong

clinical

adjective

involving working with people who are ill, rather than in a laboratory

combination

noun

using several types of treatment or drugs

conventional

adjective

conventional medical treatments are the type of modern medical treatments based on drugs and operations used by most doctors in Europe, North America etc. The expression conventional medicine is often used when comparing these methods with alternative medicine.

corrective

adjective

designed to solve or improve a physical problem

curative

adjective

used for curing an illness

diagnostic

adjective

used for finding out what physical or mental problem someone has

elective

adjective

elective medical treatment is treatment that you choose to have, rather than treatment that is necessary

emollient

adjective

designed to make your skin softer or less painful

fast-acting

adjective

a fast-acting drug has an effect very quickly

gynaecological

adjective

relating to medical conditions and diseases that affect women and their reproductive organs

gynecological

the American spelling of gynaecological

habit-forming

adjective

a habit-forming drug is one that makes you need to use it all the time, even though it is bad for you

hallucinatory

adjective

causing hallucinations

hallucinatory

adjective

similar to a hallucination

hallucinogenic

adjective

causing hallucinations

health

noun

relating to medical care

holistic

adjective

based on the idea that you should take care of your whole body and mind, rather than just treating a part of the body that is ill

homeopathic

adjective

relating to or using homeopathy

homoeopathic

another spelling of homeopathic

hypodermic

adjective

a hypodermic needle or syringe is used for putting drugs into your body through the skin

intravenous

adjective

put directly into a vein

invasive

adjective

invasive medical treatment involves putting something into someone’s body or cutting into someone’s body

IV

abbreviation

intravenous

IV

abbreviation

intravenously

lifesaving

adjective

done in order to prevent someone from dying

manipulative

adjective

relating to the use of the hands to move or press part of someone’s body as part of a medical treatment

med

adjective

medical

medical

adjective

relating to medicine and the treatment of injuries and diseases

medicated

adjective

containing a substance that kills bacteria or that makes you feel or look healthier

medicinal

adjective

capable of treating an illness

mild

adjective

mild drugs, cosmetics etc are very gentle and not likely to have any bad effects

mind-bending

adjective

mind-bending drugs make you see or hear things that are not real

minor

adjective

a minor medical operation is fairly simple and not dangerous

narcotic

adjective

able to make you feel less pain and help you sleep

narcotic

adjective

relating to a narcotic, especially when used illegally

negative

adjective

showing that a particular condition, disease, or substance is not present

non-invasive

adjective

a non-invasive medical test or treatment does not involve cutting your body or putting instruments inside it

non-prescription

adjective

non-prescription medicines are ones that you can buy without written permission from a doctor

non-specific

adjective

a non-specific drug or treatment affects more than one part of your body

oral

adjective

oral medicine is taken by mouth

orthopaedic

adjective

relating to the medical treatment of injuries and diseases affecting bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments

orthopaedic

adjective

designed to be used by people with injuries or diseases affecting their bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments

orthopedic

an American spelling of orthopaedic

over-the-counter

adjective, adverb

over-the-counter medicine can be bought from a shop without a prescription from a doctor

paediatric

adjective

relating to the part of medicine dealing with children and their diseases

palliative

adjective

reducing the pain or other bad effects of a terminal illness (=one that cannot be cured)

paramedical

adjective

helping doctors and nurses to provide medical treatment

performance-enhancing

adjective

a performance-enhancing drug or substance is something taken illegally by someone involved in sport to make them stronger, faster etc

pharmaceutical

adjective

relating to the production or sale of medicines and drugs used for treating medical conditions

positive

adjective

a positive result in a medical test means that the person has the disease or condition that was tested for

post-op

adjective

postoperative

postoperative

adjective

done or happening after a medical operation

potent

adjective

if a drug, medicine, or chemical is potent, it has a strong effect

powerful

adjective

a powerful drug or chemical has a strong effect

prophylactic

adjective

intended to prevent disease or infection

prosthetic

adjective

used for replacing a missing body part

psychedelic

adjective

psychedelic drugs are drugs that make you see things that are not really there

psychiatric

adjective

connected with the treatment of mental illness

psychoactive

adjective

a psychoactive drug affects a person’s mental state and often their behaviour

remedial

adjective

intended to treat or cure a medical condition

sanitary

adjective

a sanitary process or method is one that keeps things healthy and clean, especially by killing bacteria

surgical

adjective

connected with medical operations, or used for medical operations

therapeutic

adjective

helping to treat or cure illness

well-woman

adjective

a well-woman clinic or health programme is created to encourage and support good health in women

anticoagulant

adjective

anti-inflammatory

adjective

antiseptic

adjective

Ayurvedic

adjective

clinically

adverb

depressant

adjective

emetic

adjective

immunosuppressant

adjective

intravenously

adverb

medically

adverb

medicinally

adverb

microsurgical

adjective

naturopathic

adjective

orally

adverb

pharmacological

adjective

pharmacologically

adverb

sedative

adjective

surgically

adverb

for external use

if a medicine is for external use, it is intended to be used on the outside of your body only and must not be swallowed

nil by mouth

used as a sign on the bed of someone in hospital meaning that they should not eat or drink anything

on prescription

if a medicine is on prescription, you can only get it if you have a piece of paper from your doctor

over the counter

drugs and medicines that are available over the counter can be bought without a doctor’s prescription

under the knife

used for saying that someone is having a medical operation

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

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sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

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