Name Changes of Medicines

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From December 2003, the names of some medicines changed.

For many years the UK had its own naming system. Each medicine had a British Approved Name (BAN). However, European law says that medicines should be called the same in all EEC countries. So, the name of each medicine is now the recommended International Non-proprietary Name (rINN). As medicines are now named the same all over Europe, it should reduce the risk of medication errors.

Note: the substance in your medication did not change - it is only the name on the medicine packet that may have changed.

  • The names of most medicines did not change. This is because the old BAN was already the same as the new rINN.
  • For some medicines, the name change was very minor. This is because the old BAN was very similar to the new rINN. For example, amoxycillin (a commonly used antibiotic) changed to amoxicillin.
  • For some medicines, the new name is quite different to the old name. These are listed below:
amethocaine
aminacrine
amoxycillin
amphetamine
amylobarbitone sodium
beclomethasone
bendrofluazide
benzhexol
benzphetamine
benztropine
busulphan
butobarbitone
carticaine
cephalexin
cephradine
chloral betaine
chlorbutol
chlormethiazole
chlorpheniramine
chlorthalidone
cholecalciferol
cholestyramine
clomiphene
colistin sulphomethate sodium
corticotrophin
cyclosporin
cysteamine
danthron
dexamphetamine
dibromopropamidine
dicyclomine
dienoestrol
dimethicone(s)
dimethyl sulphoxide
dothiepin
doxycycline hydrochloride (hemihydrate hemiethanolate)
eformoterol
ethamsylate
ethinyloestradiol
ethynodiol
flumethasone
flupenthixol
flurandrenolone
frusemide
guaiphenesin
hexachlorophane
hexamine hippurate
hydroxyurea
indomethacin
lignocaine
methotrimeprazine
methyl cysteine
methylene blue
methicillin
mitozantrone
nicoumalone
oestradiol
oestriol
oestrone
oxpentifylline
phenobarbitone
pipothiazine
polyhexanide
pramoxine
procaine penicillin
prothionamide
quinalbarbitone
riboflavine
salcatonin
sodium calciumedetate
sodium cromoglycate
sodium ironedetate
sodium picosulphate
sorbitan monostearate
stibocaptate
stilboestrol
sulphacetamide
sulphadiazine
sulphamethoxazole
sulphapyridine
sulphasalazine
sulphathiazole
sulphinpyrazone
tetracosactrin
thiabendazole
thioguanine
thiopentone
thymoxamine
thyroxine sodium
tribavirin
trimeprazine
urofollitrophin
tetracaine
aminoacridine
amoxicillin
amfetamine
amobarbital sodium
beclometasone
bendroflumethiazide
trihexyphenidyl
benzfetamine
benzatropine
busulfan
butobarbital
articaine
cefalexin
cefradine
cloral betaine
chlorobutanol
clomethiazole
chlorphenamine
chlortalidone
colecalciferol
colestyramine
clomifene
colistimethate sodium
corticotropin
ciclosporin
mercaptamine
dantron
dexamfetamine
dibrompropamidine
dicycloverine
dienestrol
dimeticone
dimethyl sulfoxide
dosulepin
doxycycline hyclate
formoterol
etamsylate
ethinylestradiol
etynodiol
flumetasone
flupentixol
fludroxycortide
furosemide
guaifenesin
hexachlorophene
methenamine hippurate
hydroxycarbamide
indometacin
lidocaine
levomepromazine
mecysteine
methylthioninium chloride
meticillin
mitoxantrone
acenocoumarol
estradiol
estriol
estrone
pentoxifylline
phenobarbital
pipotiazine
polihexanide
pramocaine
procaine benzylpenicillin
protionamide
secobarbital
riboflavin
calcitonin (salmon)
sodium calcium edetate
sodium cromoglicate
sodium feredetate
sodium picosulfate
sorbitan stearate
sodium stibocaptate
diethylstilbestrol
sulfacetamide
sulfadiazine
sulfamethoxazole
sulfapyridine
sulfasalazine
sulfathiazole
sulfinpyrazone
tetracosactide
tiabendazole
tioguanine
thiopental
moxisylyte
levothyroxine sodium
ribavirin
alimemazine
urofollitropin
Original Author:
Dr Tim Kenny
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Prof Cathy Jackson
Document ID:
4824 (v42)
Last Checked:
14/01/2015
Next Review:
13/01/2018
The Information Standard - certified member
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