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Letters
June 30, 1978

What's in a Name?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Secretary, USAN Council Chicago

JAMA. 1978;239(26):2759. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280530023007
Abstract

Since many drugs—and hence many nonproprietary and trademark names—already exist, any new name must be selected to be free of conflict with established names and to be as distinctive as possible.

The United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council was given, as starters, a choice between "moxcinonide" and "flumoxonide," which are abbreviations of "methoxycinonide" or "fluromethoxycinonide"—hybrid designations derived from the chemical name of this compound and the applicable USAN stem for it. Any new name beginning with me- would not be distinctive because of the large number of drug names having this prefix. As several references describe (232:294, 1975; 237:2413, 1977),1,2 the name for the new compound must include the stem -onide to signal the presence of an acetal (here, acetonide) derivative or, more importantly, to connote a topical steroid. The name "flumoxonide" also indicates the presence of fluorine atoms and thus implies, by the name alone, the

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