Journal of Heart and Cardiology
Using the Stems of Drug Names to Simplify the Prescribing of Cardiovascular Drugs
Department of Pharmacology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
David M. Paton, MD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, Tel: (250) 756-9334; E-mail: email@example.com
Paton, D.M. Using the Stems of Drug Names to Simplify the Prescribing of Cardiovascular Drugs. (2016) J Heart Cardiol 2(2): 76- 79.
© 2016 Paton, D.M. This is an Open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
KeywordsCardiovascular Drugs; Hypertension; Groups of Drugs
In choosing a generic or official name for a drug the bodies responsible for these decisions follow a number of guidelines. One of these is the use of stems that are reserved for drugs with particular mechanisms of action, clinical use, chemical structure etc. In this article the usefulness of knowing stems is illustrated using the drugs chosen by the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) as the drugs of first choice for the management of hypertension. The drugs so selected form a limited number of groups identifiable by their stems. Each of these groups has a common mechanism of action; common actions on different organ systems; common clinical uses; and, common unwanted effects. Knowledge of the stems of different groups of drugs is unfortunately not always as useful as in these examples but does assist in identifying some important characteristic of that group thus making stems an important contributor to both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.