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Vitamins and Related Compounds 

Vitamins and Related Compounds

Margaret A. Winker

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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


vitamin B6

pyridoxine hydrochloride

vitamin B8

adenosine phosphate

vitamin B12


vitamin C

ascorbic acid

vitamin D


vitamin D1


vitamin D2


vitamin G


vitamin K1


vitamin K2


vitamin P4


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