The generic names of approved medications are selected by the United States Adopted Names (USAN) Council. These names are usually derived from common prefixes and suffixes in order to help pharmacists, doctors and other health care professionals recognize what the drug is used for. Names that include an established group of letters to represent a specific drug class can help ensure consistency and cut down on confusion.
Here are just a few common roots the USAN uses to assign drug names:
- -mab is assigned to monoclonal antibodies, such as infliximab
- dopa- indicates a dopamine receptor antagonist, often found in depression or mental health drugs
- -coxib designates a COX-2 inhibitor, commonly used in arthritis medications such as celecoxib
Not only do these roots make the drug names easier to remember, they often use chemical terms to give clues about the drug’s use. However, by using the same letters as another drug in the same class, the scientific naming of generic drugs may contribute to medication errors as often as they prevent them.
If you have been injured by a medication mistake, our prescription drug error lawyers can get you the compensation you deserve. Call Kennedy Hodges at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation, or order your FREE copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.