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abnormally rapid breathing (>20 breaths per minute in adults).

tertiary prevention

Tertiary prevention (or intervention) aims to lessen the impact of an ongoing illness (or injury) that has long-term effects, i.e. helping patients to manage chronic, often-complex health problems and injuries such as chronic diseases and physical disabilities. The goal of tertiary prevention is to improve the patient's ability to function, their quality of life and their life expectancy, as much as is possible. Examples of tertiary interventions include cardiac or stroke rehabilitation programs, patient participation in support groups and occupational health service support (including vocational rehabilitation).


A condition characterized by a reduced effect of a drug upon repeated administration, such that it becomes necessary to increase the dose of the drug to achieve the same effect. Tolerance typically develops over days to weeks.

topical administration

Topically administered drugs are applied to the site of action with the intention of localising drug action. Examples are optical solutions, local anesthetics, inhaled asthma drugs and anti-inflammatory creams applied to pruritic skin. Topically applied drugs can also achieve systemic exposure. For example, volatile anesthetics are administerd by inhalation but travel to the brain to take effect.

transdermal administration

Transdermal administration is a method of drug application used for some drugs which are poorly absorbed from the digestive tract, and where patient convenience is sought (e.g. to avoid parenteral routes).

Abbreviation used for biological half-life.

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