Our glossary explains some of the medical and legal terms used in palliative care. Glossary words are underlined in the Topics and Asked and Answered sections, with definitions appearing when you hover on a word.


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The process of gradually adjusting the dosage of a medication until the desired effect is achieved.


A complex process that results in the body adapting to a medication. Over time, the medication becomes less effective and higher doses are required to achieve the same effect.

Topical Patch

An adhesive patch applied to the skin that slowly releases medication into the skin. This allows the medication to be gradually absorbed by the body.

Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)

A treatment used to provide nutrition. Nutrients in a solution are delivered through an intravenous tube into the bloodstream. Used for short periods.