February 21, 1966

Terminology of Antibiotics

JAMA. 1966;195(8):649. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100080089024

The attributes in drug names which may not be met by the first name applied to a drug. Although a drug name first applied by its discoverer may meet all the requirements needed for the scientific community, it may be unsuitable for general use in pharmacy and medicine.

The rapid progress now being made in medicine applies new requirements, some of which are noted here. These include a distinctive name, readily recognized, yielding itself to quick recall and easy pronunciation. The name must not be easily confused with another drug or chemical name in oral or written communication by accidental deletion of a letter or figure or because of its close similarity in sound or spelling. There should be only one commonly used name for a drug for use in medical communication.

In the United States, nonproprietary names for use by the medical community are proposed for adoption to the

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