International Nonproprietary Name
An International Nonproprietary Name (INN; also known as rINN, for recommended International Nonproprietary Name, a name which is still under consideration being known as a pINN for proposed International Nonproprietary Name) is the official nonproprietary or generic name given to a pharmaceutical substance, as designated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The plethora of named proprietary preparations containing a given substance can lead to confusion about the identity of the active ingredient. INNs facilitate communication by providing a standard name for each substance; they are designed to be unique and distinct so as to avoid confusion in prescribing. A similar role is played in chemistry by IUPAC names, though those are less suited to common usage, being typically very long and unwieldy.
WHO issues INNs in English, Latin, French, Russian, and Spanish. Although not included in the original scheme, Arabic and Chinese versions are now also being issued.
Drugs from the same therapeutic or chemical class are usually given names with the same stem. Stems are mostly placed word-finally, but in some cases word-initial stems are used. They are collected in a publication informally known as the Stem Book.
- -coxib for COX-2 inhibitors, a type of anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. celecoxib)
- -mab for monoclonal antibodies (e.g. infliximab); see Nomenclature of monoclonal antibodies
- -olol for beta blockers (e.g. atenolol)
- -oxetine for fluoxetine derivatives, a group of antidepressants
- -pril for ACE inhibitors (e.g. captopril)
- -sartan for angiotensin II receptor antagonists (e.g. losartan)
- -vastatin for HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, a group of cholesterol lowering agents (e.g. simvastatin)
- io- for iodine containing radiopharmaceuticals (e.g. iobenguane)
The term stem is not used consistently in linguistics. It has been defined as a form to which affixes (of any type) can be attached. Under a different and apparently more common view, this is the definition of a root, while a stem consists of the root plus optional derivational affixes, meaning that it is the part of a word to which inflectional affixes are added. INN stems employ the first definition, while under the more common alternative they would be described as roots.
- ae and oe are replaced by e
- ch is replaced by c
- ph is replaced by f
- th is replaced by t
- y is replaced by i
Comparison of naming standards
|British Approved Name (BAN):||paracetamol|
|United States Adopted Name (USAN):||acetaminophen|
|Other generic names:||N-acetyl-p-aminophenol, APAP, p-acetamidophenol, acetamol, ...|
|Proprietary names:||Tylenol, Panadol, Panamax, Perdolan, Calpol, Doliprane, Tachipirina, Ben-u-ron, Atasol, Adol, ...|
- World Health Organization: International Nonproprietary Names
- World Health Organization: The use of stems in the selection of International Nonproprietary Names (INN) for pharmaceutical substances
- Geoffrey Sampson; Paul Martin Postal (2005). The 'language instinct' debate. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-8264-7385-1. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- Loos, Eugene E.; Susan Anderson; Dwight H. Day, Jr.; Paul C. Jordan; J. Douglas Wingate. "What is a root?". Glossary of linguistic terms. SIL International. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- Loos, Eugene E.; Susan Anderson; Dwight H. Day, Jr.; Paul C. Jordan; J. Douglas Wingate. "What is a stem?". Glossary of linguistic terms. SIL International. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand: rINN Names Replace BAN Generic Names
- "International Nonproprietary Names". World Health Organization. Retrieved 2012-04-02.