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Contents

Vitamins and Related Compounds 

Chapter:
Nomenclature
Author(s):

Margaret A. Winker

Vitamins and Related Compounds

The familiar letter names of most vitamins generally refer to the substances as found in food and in vivo. With the exception of vitamins A, E, and B complex, the INNs for vitamins given therapeutically differ from their in vivo names. (To enhance clarity for readers, the equivalent vitamin name may also be provided.) Various types of carotenoids (alpha and beta carotene and beta cryptoxanthin) may be converted to vitamin A within the body, so the specific agent that is administered should be provided. The native form of vitamin A is most often supplied as retinol acetate. Other forms of vitamin A may be administered topically (such as retinoic acid). Vitamin E refers to a group of tocopherol compounds, and the specific chemical names should be provided (eg, alpha tocopherol, gamma tocopherol, delta tocopherol, or mixed tocopherols). The specific stereoisomers and whether the product is natural or synthetic should be provided where relevant (eg, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate). For vitamin B complex, the specific components included in the B complex should be provided. (For additional information see the Institute of Medicine texts listed under “Additional Readings and General References” at the end of this section.) The following are examples of USAN drug names equivalent to their vitamin names1(p930):

Native Vitamin

Drug Name

vitamin B1

thiamine hydrochloride

vitamin B1 mononitrate

thiamine mononitrate

vitamin B2

riboflavin

vitamin B6

pyridoxine hydrochloride

vitamin B8

adenosine phosphate

vitamin B12

cyanocobalamin

vitamin C

ascorbic acid

vitamin D

cholecalciferol

vitamin D1

dihydrotachysterol

vitamin D2

ergocalciferol

vitamin G

riboflavin

vitamin K1

phytonadione

vitamin K2

menaquinone

vitamin P4

troxerutin

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