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Drugs With Inactive Components 


Margaret A. Winker

Drugs often contain a pharmacologically inactive component, eg, a base, salt, or ester, that is not responsible for the drug’s mechanism of action but lends stability or other properties to the drug. Drugs with both an active and inactive component generally require a 2-part name that provides the active and inactive portion of the drug. Inorganic salts and simple organic acids are named in the order cation-anion (eg, sodium chloride, magnesium citrate). For more complex organic compounds, the active component is named first (eg, oxacillin sodium).(p1224) Pharmacologically inactive components are generally salts, esters, and complexes. Sodium, potassium, chloride, hydrochloride, sulfate,

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