Nomenclature/Names of medicines/drugs
A drug is considered as being any substance used in the diagnosis, cure and treatment or prevention of an illness, disease or condition.
The naming of drugs can be confusing, as most drugs have three names:
1. The full chemical name – describes drug using the nomenclature of chemistry (inappropriate for everyday use); it is a precise description of the chemical composition and its atomic and molecular structure.
2. A nonpropriety name (official, approved or generic name) – used in pharmacopoeias (official compendiums) and chosen by official bodies – these names are preferable to propriety/brand names for everyday use; may be an abbreviation of the chemical name.
3. A propriety/brand/trade name(s) – commercial property of pharmaceutical company (name may vary in different countries) – the name that the drug is marketed under. Each drug has only one nonpropriety/generic name, but may have several propriety/brand names.
Brand and propriety names of drugs do vary from country to country, so examples given in this chapter may not reflect the correct name in each country.