Intended for healthcare professionals


Athlete's foot and fungally infected toenails

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 26 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1306

Authors should use familiar drug names

  1. Arabella Melville (, freelance consultant and writer
  1. Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9AN
  2. Department of Health Sciences and Clinical Evaluation, University of York, York YO10 5DD
  3. Podiatry Department, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff CF1 3NS
  4. Clinical Evidence, BMJ Publishing Group, London WC1H 9JR

    EDITOR—The review of effectiveness of treatments for athlete's foot seemed perfectly timed1: my shopping list for that Saturday morning included a fungicide to control the infection under my toes. I read it eagerly but ended up none the wiser because the names used for the drug groups were unfamiliar to me. I consulted my copy of the British National Formulary,2 confident that the mystery would be solved. No luck: the terminology in the review wasn't used there.

    OK, I thought, I'll ask the pharmacist. But when he looked at the term I'd carefully copied from my BMJ his first assumption was that I'd …

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