Chemical Names - AMA Manual of Style

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Chemical Names 

Chemical Names

Chapter:
Nomenclature
Author(s):

Margaret A. Winker

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Chemical Names

The chemical name describes a drug in terms of its chemical structure.1(p9) Chemical names are provided in the American Chemical Society’s Chemical Abstracts (information available at http://www.cas.org/PRINTED/printca.html) and can be listed in 1 of 2 ways; the first reflects the way in which Chemical Abstracts indexes inverted chemical names:

hydrazinecarboxyimidamide, 2-[-(2,6-dichlorophenoxy)ethyl]-, sulfate, (2:1)

The second is the uninverted form:

2-[-(2,6-dichlorophenoxy)ethyl] hydrazinecarboxyimidamide sulfate, (2:1)

Both forms follow the recommendations of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Each chemical is also designated a registry number with the Chemical Abstract Society (information available at http://www.cas.org/EO/regsys.html#q2). This number is included in the USP Dictionary1 listing for the drug. Chemical names and registry numbers are rarely used in medical publications, and nonproprietary names are preferred.1(pp13-15)

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