NCI Drug Dictionary

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The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

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alcohol
A volatile liquid prepared by fermentation of certain carbohydrates. Alcohol acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, a diuretic, and a disinfectant. Although the exact mechanism of CNS depression is unknown, alcohol may act by inhibiting the opening of calcium channels, mediated by the binding of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) to GABA-A receptors, or through inhibitory actions at N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors. Alcohol inhibits the production of antidiuretic hormone, thereby producing diuresis that may lead to dehydration. This agent kills organisms by denaturing their proteins. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)

Synonym:absolute ethanol
ethanol
ethyl alcohol
methylcarbinol