International Nonproprietary Name

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An International Nonproprietary Name (INN; also known as rINN, for recommended International Nonproprietary Name or pINN for proposed International Nonproprietary Name) is the official non-proprietary or generic name given to a pharmaceutical substance, as designated by the World Health Organization (WHO). [1] The plethora of named proprietary preparations containing a given substance can lead to confusion about the identity of the active ingredient. INNs facilitate communication by providing a standard name for each substance. A similar role is played in chemistry by IUPAC names, though those are less suited to common usage, being typically very long and unwieldy. WHO issues INN names in English, Latin, French, Russian, and Spanish; Arabic and Chinese versions, although not included in the original scheme, are now also being issued.

Rules for name changes

INN names are designed to be unique and distinct so as to avoid confusion in prescribing.

Examples of modifications that may be made to British approved names

  • e is used instead of ae or oe
  • i is used instead of y
  • c is used instead of ch
  • f is used instead of ph
  • t is used instead of th


INN: paracetamol
British Approved Name (BAN): paracetamol
United States Adopted Name (USAN): acetaminophen
Other generic names: n-acetyl-p-aminophenol, APAP, p-acetamidophenol, acetamol, ...
Proprietary names: Tylenol, Panadol, Panamax, Perdolan, Calpol, Doliprane, Tachipirina, Ben-u-ron, Atasol, Adol and others
IUPAC name: N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)acetamide

See also


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External links

cs:Mezinárodní nechráněný název de:Internationaler Freiname es:Denominación Común Internacional fr:Dénomination commune internationale id:Nama Generik Internasional it:Denominazione comune internazionale hu:Nemzetközi szabadnév (gyógyszer) nl:International Nonproprietary Name ja:国際一般名 no:INN-klassifikasjon pl:International Nonproprietary Name pt:Denominação Comum Internacional ru:Международное непатентованное наименование sr:Међународни незаштићени назив th:INN

  1. [1] The World Health Organization collaborates closely with INN experts and national nomenclature committees to select a single name of worldwide acceptability for each active substance that is to be marketed as a pharmaceutical. To avoid confusion, which could jeopardize the safety of patients, trade-marks should neither be derived from INNs nor contain common stems used in INNs. The selection and publication of INNs falls under the responsibility of the HSS/EMP/QSM team of the INN Programme.