Glossary of Terms

A * B * C * D * E * F * G * H * I * J * K * L * M * N * O * P * Q * R * S * T * U * V * W * X * Y * Z


The process by which a drug is transferred from the site of administration into the body’s blood, lymph, or tissue.

Adverse reaction

A result of drug therapy that is neither intended nor expected in normal therapeutic use and for which may cause significant, sometimes, life-threatening conditions.


A medicine given to relieve or reduce pain without resulting in loss of consciousness.


Pertaining to the cheek inside the mouth. As in administering a medicine directly toward the inside cheek of the mouth.


A matter (or piece of information) that should be weighed or taken into account when formulating an opinion or plan.


To combine or mix tablets or capsules into a flavorful liquid or suspension to make it more palatable for the animal.


Any symptom or circumstance indicating the inappropriate use of a form of treatment that may otherwise have been advisable.


The transport of a drug across cell membranes which results in the accumulation of the drug in certain tissues.


The amount/quantity of the drug to be given to the animal at one time.


The success, effectiveness or beneficial result of a treatment.


The loss of the drug from the site within the body. Some drugs will be metabolized when passing through the liver or other tissue will be metabolized. Other drugs may be eliminated directly when passing through the kidneys or other tissues of excretion.


The removal of drug molecules, intact, changed, or inactivated from the body (e.g. kidneys).

First-pass effect / First-pass metabolism

The process whereby drugs administered orally are absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and carried through the hepatic portal vein to the liver, where some portion of the drug is metabolized (degraded, altered, inactivated or removing some of the drug) before it reaches the general circulation thus reducing some of its effect. With some drugs this can be avoided if the drug is designed to be given by IV, SQ, or IM administration.


Drugs delivered by breathing in with use of a machine or device. In general the drugs are rapidly absorbed.

IM (Intramuscular)

Administration of a medication, into deep muscle, given by needle.

IP (Intraperitoneal)

Injection of a therapeutic substance, or drug, into the peritoneum (the lining covering the abdominal and pelvic body cavity).


Lethal dose.


Dose of drug that will kill 50% of the group being tested.


The activity required in the body to process the drug (i.e., metabolism can decrease, increase, or have no effect on the activity of drugs).


Pertaining to the eyes.

Oral (PO)

Drugs that are given by mouth that are able to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach. Absorption can be affected by gastric emptying and intestinal motility.


Medications that are over-the-counter which do not require a prescription.


Pertaining to the ear.

Pearls of Wisdom (“pearls”)

A succinct or insightful saying. A piece of advice or moral precept.


The study of drugs in all their aspects.


A discipline concerned with the art, science , or practice of preparing, compounding, and dispensing drugs. A place where drugs are sold (e.g. drugstore). Also called an Apothecary.


The concentration, or amount, needed of a specific drug to produce a defined effect.


Not yielding or not readily yielding to treatment.

SQ, SC, SubQ (Subcutaneous)

Non-irritating drug injected just beneath the skin. The drug then permeates the capillaries and enters the blood stream.


Pertaining to the treatment of a condition or disease. The healing properties of an agent (e.g., drug).


Local application of a drug used in dermatologic, ophthalmologic, and otic conditions.


A chemically active substance which produces blistering on direct contact with the skin or mucous membrane.


The Rat Guide and its affiliates accept no responsibility for misuse or misunderstanding of its information. This guide in whole or part, exists solely for the purpose of recognizing and understanding the care and illnesses in the pet rat. Please seek advice and treatment from a qualified Veterinarian if your rat is ill.

2000 - 2024 by Karen Grant RN. All rights reserved.
All other written and visual materials used by permission of specific authors for the sole use of the Rat Guide. Please visit our Privacy Policy for details.
Brought to you by KuddlyKorner4u
See Logos page for linking to the Rat Guide.
Contact us here: Rat Guide Team
Please note: Rat Guide email is not checked daily. Send e-mail to if you have an urgent medical problem with your pet rat. When possible, it is always best to take your rat to a qualified rat veterinarian.