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A European Commission directive requiring member states to use recommended international non-proprietary names for all drugs is soon to be implemented. For most drug names there will be little or no change. For around two dozen drugs the changes are more important; these will be dual labelled during the five year changeover period. It is intended that adrenaline (British approved name) will be changed to epinephrine (recommended international non-proprietary name). The strong arguments for persuading the European Union to resist this particular change are based on usage, history, etymology, and, most importantly, risk of clinical errors.


Journal article


British Medical Journal

Publication Date





506 - 509