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Glossary Of Drug Terms - Drug Testing Terms

Note:  Definitions are expressed in terms applicable to the subjects of drug testing and pharmacology. Some terms maypossess inherently different meanings when applied to other fields of study.
Accuracy: The ability of a test device to produce a reading that matches the known value for the sample.
Amnestic: An agent used for the treatment of impaired memory function.
Analgesic: An agent that relieves pain selectively without affecting consciousness or sensory perception.
Anesthetic (General):  An agent that produces unconsciousness as well as diminishing or eliminating the sensation of pain.
Anesthetic (Local):  An agent that diminishes or eliminates the sensation of pain on or in the specific region of the body where it is applied.
Antihyperbilirubinemic:  An agent used for the treatment of antihyperbilirubinemia (jaundice) - a common disorder in newborns wherein the chemical "bilirubin" accumulates in the infant's blood and causes a yellow hue.
Antitussive:  An agent that suppresses coughing.
Anxiolytic:  A mild sedative used for relief of anxiety.
Cannabinoid:  Any of the active principles of Cannabis Sativa (marijuana), including, but not limited to, THC.
Central Nervous System (CNS):  Body system comprised of the brain and spinal cord.
Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressant:  An agent that diminishes brain and/or spinal cord function or activity.
Central Nervous System (CNS) Stimulant:  An agent that amplifies brain and/or spinal cord function or activity.
Cross-reactivity:  The degree in which substances other than the target compound are shown to generate positive test results.
Cutoff Concentration:  The specific concentration of drug or drug metabolite in the sample that is chosen as a limit to distinguish a positive from a negative test result. Samples with concentrations above the cutoff level are considered positive and results below are considered negative.
Depressant:  An agent that diminishes a body function or activity.
False Negative Test Result:  A test result which states that no drug is present when, in fact, a tested drug or metabolite is present in an amount greater the cutoff concentration.
False Positive Test Result:  A test result which states that a drug or metabolite is present when, in fact, the drug or metabolite is not present or is present in an amount less than the cutoff concentration.
Hallucinogen:  An agent that distorts sensory perceptions, sometimes resulting in sensory illusions which may be mild or extreme.
Hypnotic: An agent that induces sleep.
Interference:  The effect that a compound (or group of compounds) has on the accuracy of test measurement.
Metabolite:  A modified form or byproduct of a drug produced by the body's metabolic process.
Narcotic (Narcotic-Analgesic):  An agent that relieves pain through depression of the central nervous system.
Negative Test Result:  A test result which states that no drug or metabolite is present or no drug or metabolite is present in an amount greater the cutoff concentration.
Positive Test Result:  A test result which states that a drug or metabolite is present.
Precision:  The ability of a test device to produce the same value during repeated measurements.
Quantitative Test Result:  A test result expressed in numerical terms in order to determine the specific quantity of drug or drug metabolite present in the sample.
Qualitative Test Result:  A test result expressed in non-numerical terms in order to determine the presence or absence of drug or drug metabolite in the sample.
Reproducibility:  The ability of a test device to produce the same value during repeated measurements in various laboratories which are participating in a collaborative study.
Sedative:  An agent that calms nervousness, irritability, and excitement. In general, sedatives depress the central nervous system and tend to cause sluggishness and reduced mental activity.
Sedative-Hypnotic:  An agent that calms nervousness, irritability, and excitement and/or induces sleep. In general, sedative-hypnotics depress the central nervous system and tend to cause sluggishness and reduced mental activity.
Sensitivity:  For quantitative test devices: The smallest concentration of a drug or drug metabolite that produces a response distinguishable from the background or blank value. For qualitative test devices: The minimum concentration of a drug or drug metabolite that is capable of generating a positive test result. In qualitative test devices, this amount is generally the same as the cutoff concentration. 
Specificity:  The ability of a test device to determine exclusively the drug and/or drug metabolites that are claimed to be detected without cross-reacting with other related substances that are not intended to be detected.
Stimulant:  An agent that amplifies a body function or activity.
Target Drug/Metabolite:  The drug or metabolite that the test device is designed to detect.
Tranquilizer:  An agent used for relief of anxiety.

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