Thursday, August 16, 2007

Healthcare (Part II - Medicine)


Let's continue with our Healthcare vocabulary list. Today, we'll talk about diferent kinds of drugs to treat a disease/medical condition. Feel free to send me your ideas to improve this list, or about any other phrases related to healthcare. Next time, we'll be talking about hospitals. So, let's go!

General Vocabulary

  • Medicine, drugs = medicina
  • Medicament, medication = medicamento
  • Remedy = remedio
  • Treatment = tratamiento
  • Prescription = receta médica
  • Samples = muestras (médicas)
  • Compund = compuesto
  • Dose = dosis
  • Side effects = efectos secundarios
Delivery Systems
  • Tablet = tableta, comprimido
  • Pill = pastilla, píldora
  • Sugar-coated pill/tablet = gragea
  • Capsule = cápsula
  • Gel capsule, gelcap = cápsula de gel
  • Chewable tabs = pastillas masticables
  • Blister = blíster
  • Syrup = jarabe
  • Solution = solución
  • Powder for oral suspension = polvo para suspensión oral
  • Drops = gotas
  • Ointment = ungüento, pomada
  • Cream = crema
  • Tube = tubo
  • Suppository = supositorio
  • Ampule = ampolla
  • Vial = vial, frasco
  • Injection (shot) = inyección
  • Spray = spray
  • Inhaler = inhalador
  • IV drip feed = vía de goteo intravenoso
Kinds of drugs
  • Analgesic = analgésico
  • Antacid = antiácido
  • Anti-allergy = antialérgico
  • Antibiotic = antibiótico
  • Anti-depressant = antidepresivo
  • Antidiarrheal = antidiarréico
  • Anti-inflammatory = antiinflamatorio
  • Antifungal = antimicótico
  • Antihistamine = antihistamínico
  • Antipyretic = antipirético
  • Antiseptic = antiséptico
  • Aspirin = aspirina
  • Bronchodilators = Broncodilatador
  • Calcium = calcio
  • Cough drops, lozenge = comprimidos para la tos
  • Corticosteroids = Corticosteroides
  • Contraceptive = anticonceptivo
  • Decongestant = descongestionante
  • Diuretic = diurético
  • Eye drops = gotas para los ojos
  • Insuline = insulina
  • Laxative = laxante
  • Muscle relaxant = relajante muscular
  • Pain killer = calmante para el dolor
  • Sleeping pill = pastilla para dormir / somnífero
  • Sedative, Tranquilizer = sedante, calmante
  • Vaccine = vacuna
  • Vasodilator = vasodilatador
  • Vitamin C = vitamina C

First-aid kit/box = el botiquín de primeros auxilios
  • Alcohol = el alcohol
  • Band-Aids (US)/Elastoplasts (UK) = las tiritas (España), las curitas (LatAm)
  • Bandage = la venda
  • Surgical tape = el esparadrapo, el apósito (Argentina)
  • Cotton wool = el algodón
  • Gauze = la gasa
  • Peroxide = el agua oxigenada
  • Thermometer = el termómetro
  • Syringe = la jeringa
  • Needle = la aguja
More vocabulary:
  • First aid = primeros auxilios
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) = Resucitación (o reanimación) cardiopulmonar/cardiorespiratoria
  • Artificial respiration = Respiración/ventilación artificial
  • Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation = Respiración de boca a boca
  • Chemotherapy = quimioterapia
  • Physiotherapy = fisioterapia
  • Transplant = transplante
  • Blood transfusion = transfusión de sangre
  • Donor = donante, donador (Varies depending on the country)
  • Biopsy = biopsia
  • Surgery = Operación (o intervención quirúrgica)


A few useful phrases:
  • Take / Apply it: = Tómelo / Aplíquelo:
    • once / twice daily = una vez / dos veces al día
    • three / four / … times a day = tres / cuatro / … veces al día
    • before / after / with meals = antes / después / con la comida
    • at bedtime = antes de dormir
    • every other hour = cada dos horas
    • every other day = cada dos días
  • Use as much as desired / needed = Utilice tanto como desee / sea necesario
  • Available only by prescription = venta bajo receta médica
  • Keep out of the reach of children = Manténgase fuera del alcance de los niños
  • Is it safe for children? = ¿Lo pueden tomar los niños?
  • How much should I give? = ¿Cuánto le doy?


  • Be sure to ask the doctor if there are any side effects to taking that medication. Otherwise, you run the risk of having complications, and the drugs that should be helping you can make your condition worse. =
    Asegúrese de consultar con su médico si existen efectos secundarios al tomar ese medicamento. De lo contrario, corre el riesgo de tener complicaciones, y la medicina que debería ayudarlo podría empeorar su condición.



Other posts about healthcare vocabulary:
Diseases and Health Problems | At the hospital | Useful Phrases

Updated article. January 8th 2008.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Se dice "trasplante", y no "transplante". Además, "tablet" no puede ser "tableta"; no en España. Normalmente "vial" corresponde a "vial", y no a "frasco".

Anonymous said...

In the context of blood transfusion the correct form for "donor" is "donante" (not "donador"), at least in Spain.

Karin said...

Thanks for both comments. They will help me make this list more accurate.

As for "tablet", we do say "tableta" in many countries in Latin America. I also added "comprimido", for Spain.

"Vial" is not used in my country, so I didn't know about it. In fact, I asked a doctor to be sure and he said "frasco". Thanks for pointing this out.

And finally, in Guatemala we do use the word "donor". You might hear "Se necesitan donadores de sangre" as in "Blood donnors needed".

Liz Aviles said...

You can be correct in say either trasplante or transplante, donante or donador, unless this site is exclusive for Spanish that will only be used in Spain. Spanish like all languages has evolved & will continue to evolve and change. Spaniard Spanish is not the only Spanish that is spoken & used in the world. In addition, there are colloquialisms even in Spain. Depending on where you will be practicing its use, you will have to adapt to how people say things. It will be useful for us all to learn different translations of the same words and be understanding and accommodating rather than constantly correcting others. Thanks for all the work put into this site! I don't claim to be the expert & I encourage myself and others to Never Stop Learning!