Guidelines on the Use of International Nonproprietary Names (INNs) for Pharmaceutical Substances
(1997; 41 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
Open this folder and view contents1. General introduction
Close this folder2. Elements in the INN system
View the document2.1 Proposed INNs
View the document2.2 Recommended INNs
View the document2.3 Names for radicals and groups
View the document2.4 Modified INNs (INNMs)
View the document2.5 Cumulative list of INNs
Open this folder and view contents3. Principles for selection of INNs
View the document4. Protection of INNs
Open this folder and view contents5. How to apply for an INN
View the document6. References for supporting material
View the documentAnnex 1: Background information on the INN programme
View the documentAnnex 2: General principles for guidance in devising international nonproprietary names for pharmaceutical substances
View the documentAnnex 3: List of common stems used in the selection of INNs
View the documentAnnex 4: Specific groups of biological compounds
View the documentAnnex 5: WHA46.19 - Nonproprietary names for pharmaceutical substances
View the documentAnnex 6: Procedure for the selection of international nonproprietary names for pharmaceutical substances
View the documentAnnex 7: Applications for INNs through national authorities (addresses)
View the documentAnnex 8: INN request form

2.2 Recommended INNs

The final stage of the selection process is the recommended INN. Once a name has been published as a recommended INN it will not normally be modified further and is ready for use in labelling, publications, on drug information. It will serve to identify the active pharmaceutical substance during its life-time worldwide. Since the name is available in the public domain it may be used freely. However, it should not be registered as a trademark since this would prevent its use by other parties (see also chapter 4.).

Recommended INNs are published in the WHO Drug Information as a consequence of the objection procedure applied to proposed INNs (see 2.1 above). As from 1997, two lists of proposed INNs are published yearly and as from list 37 of recommended INNs, graphic formulae are also included for better identification of the substances.

An example of an entry in the list may be found below:












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