Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers When I use a word …

That's show business

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 09 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:972
  1. Jeff Aronson, clinical pharmacologist
  1. Oxford

    The names of drugs are usually coined from words related to their chemical structures. For example, the full chemical name for a popular analgesic is N-acetyl-para-aminophenol. Simpler to use the British Approved Name, paracetamol, which is just a contraction of the full name, as is acetaminophen, the United States Adoped Name.

    But some drug names have unusual origins. For instance, a few are derived from the entertainment business.

    P Sensi and his colleagues at Lepetit Research Laboratories in Milan had the habit of giving new compounds nicknames, later substituting …

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