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
Open this folder and view contents2. Elements in the INN system
Close this folder3. Principles for selection of INNs
View the document3.1 General rules
View the document3.2 Use of stems
View the document3.3 Stereoisomers
View the document3.4 Radioactive compounds
View the document3.5 Specific groups of biological compounds
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
 

3.2 Use of stems

Usually, an INN consists of a random, fantasy prefix and a common stem; substances belonging to a group of pharmacologically related substances show their relationship by the use of a common stem. Sometimes sub-stems are established to differentiate between different related groups of substances, e.g. -olol for b-adrenoreceptor antagonists and antihypertensives, -teplase for tissue-type-plasminogen activators and -uplase for urokinase-type-plasminogen activators.

A list of common stems used in the selection of INNs may be found in Annex 3.

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