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Capitalizing drug names

It's important that any drug reference you use include both upper and lower case. As always, defer to client or facility preference; some facilities specify all caps for all drugs.

Brand names are proper nouns and always capitalized.

Brand names are frequently trademarked and designated with (TM) or ™, or registered and designated with (R) or ®.

Capitalize brand names, trade names and trademark names as they are shown by the FDA and/or manufacturer.

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Augmentin
Tylenol
Xanax

Exception: The manufacturer and FDA drug approval indicates an initial lower case letter or other idiosyncratic mixture of upper and lower case letters in the name.

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pHisoHex
NyQuil
PediaCare

According to the AHDI Book of Style 3rd. Ed., these idiosyncratic mixes in drug names can be ignored if the facility preference allows it.

Chemotherapy protocols and investigational agents that use idiosyncratic capitalization should be transcribed with the idiosyncratic capitalization intact. In many cases, these are representative acronyms that identify specific components of the protocol and changing them may be confusing.

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CyHOP
COBARTin
IFoVP
ProMACE-CytaBOM

A generic drug name, also known as the nonproprietary name, is an established, official name for a drug. Generic names are in the public domain and their use is unrestrained. There may be multiple drug companies manufacturing generics, all known by the same name. Generic drug names, therefore, are common nouns and not capitalized.

In some cases, the generic and brand name of a medication sounds alike when dictated. In those cases, use the generic spelling unless there is a certainty that the brand name is being referenced.

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penicillin
lithium
ibuprofen
prednisone

Do not capitalize illegal or illicit drug names, or their street reference.

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marijuana
cocaine
heroin

Do not capitalize medicinal herb names used in alternative medicine. Do capitalize any proper nouns that accompany them.

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St. John's wort
juniper berries
rosehips
saffron
Iceland moss

Do not confuse medicinal herb names with their genus/species names. If the genus/species is used, it is treated as any other genus/species reference; i.e., the genus is capitalized, but the species name is not. See the list of medicinal herbs referenced above.


Contributors to this page: admin .
Page last modified on Saturday 10 of September, 2011 23:46:17 UTC by admin.
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