British Approved Name
A British Approved Name (BAN) is the official non-proprietary or generic name given to a pharmaceutical substance
Chemical substance
In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. They can be solids, liquids or gases.Chemical substances are...

, as defined in the British Pharmacopoeia (BP)
British Pharmacopoeia
The British Pharmacopoeia is an annual published collection of quality standards for UK medicinal substances. It is used by individuals and organizations involved in pharmaceutical research, development, manufacture and testing....

. The BAN is also the official name used in many countries across the world, especially those of the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...


Combination preparations

BANs are unique in that names are assigned for combination preparations as well as single-drug preparations. For example the BAN Co-amoxiclav
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid or co-amoxiclav is a combination antibiotic consisting of amoxicillin trihydrate, a β-lactam antibiotic, and potassium clavulanate, a β-lactamase inhibitor...

 is assigned to preparations containing amoxicillin
Amoxicillin , formerly amoxycillin , and abbreviated amox, is a moderate-spectrum, bacteriolytic, β-lactam antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections caused by susceptible microorganisms. It is usually the drug of choice within the class because it is better absorbed, following oral...

 and clavulanic acid
Clavulanic acid
Clavulanic acid is a competitive β-lactamase inhibitor combined with penicillin group antibiotics to overcome certain types of antibiotic resistance. It is used to overcome resistance in bacteria that secrete β-lactamase, which otherwise inactivates most penicillins...

. Most other pharmacopoeias simply refer to combination products by both ingredients in the preparation, in this example "amoxicillin with clavulanic acid".

The prefix of "co-" is used for many combination drugs, including opioid with paracetamol or aspirin analgesics (e.g., Co-codamol
Co-codamol is a non-proprietary name used to denote a compound analgesic, a combination of codeine phosphate and paracetamol . Co-codamol Co-codamol (BAN) is a non-proprietary name used to denote a compound analgesic, a combination of codeine phosphate and paracetamol (acetaminophen). Co-codamol...

, Co-codaprin
Co-codaprin is a non-proprietary name used to denote a compound analgesic, a combination of codeine phosphate with aspirin.Co-codaprin tablets are used for mild to moderate pain.-Canada:...

, Co-dydramol
Co-dydramol is a non-proprietary name used to denote a compound analgesic, a combination of dihydrocodeine tartrate and paracetamol. Co-dydramol tablets are used for the relief of moderate pain...

, Co-proxamol). The other commonly-encountered opioid combination is the anti-diarrhoeal, non-analgesic mixture of diphenoxylate
Diphenoxylate is an opioid agonist used for the treatment of diarrhea that acts by slowing intestinal contractions and peristalsis allowing the body to consolidate intestinal contents and prolong transit time, thus allowing the intestines to draw moisture out of them at a normal or higher rate and...

 and atropine
Atropine is a naturally occurring tropane alkaloid extracted from deadly nightshade , Jimson weed , mandrake and other plants of the family Solanaceae. It is a secondary metabolite of these plants and serves as a drug with a wide variety of effects...

, Co-phenotrope (a.k.a. Lomotil
The drug combination diphenoxylate/atropine is a popular oral anti-diarrheal in the United States, manufactured by Pfizer. Its UK BAN generic name is co-phenotrope....

). Also antibiotics (e.g., Co-fluampicil
Ampicillin/flucloxacillin or co-fluampicil is a combination drug of two β-lactam antibiotics, sold under the trade name Magnapen.-Indication:...

 and Co-trimoxazole
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or co-trimoxazole is a sulfonamide antibiotic combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, in the ratio of 1 to 5, used in the treatment of a variety of bacterial infections.The name co-trimoxazole is the British Approved Name, and has been marketed worldwide...

), drugs to lower blood pressure (e.g., Co-tenidone
Co-tenidone is a non-proprietary name used to denote a combination of atenolol and chlortalidone. Co-tenidone is used in the treatment of hypertension...

), diuretics (e.g., Co-amilofruse
Co-amilofruse is a non-proprietary name used to denote a combination of amiloride and the formerly named frusemide . Co-amilofruse in the treatment of fluid retention , either in the legs or on the lungs...

 and Co-amilozide
Co-amilozide is a non-proprietary name used to denote a combination of amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide. Co-amilozide is used in the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure with the tendency of the thiazide to cause low potassium levels offset by the potassium-sparing effects of...

), gastrointestinal drugs (e.g., Co-danthrusate
Danthron is a mild peristaltic stimulant which acts on the lower bowel to encourage normal bowel movement without causing irritation. It belongs to the group of medicines under the term stimulant laxative. It stimulates the nerves in the stomach wall which causes the stomach muscles to contract....

) and anti-Parkinsonism
Parkinsonism is a neurological syndrome characterized by tremor, hypokinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. The underlying causes of parkinsonism are numerous, and diagnosis can be complex...

 agents such as Co-careldopa, Co-beneldopa, and others (e.g., Co-cyprindiol).

BAN harmonisation

Recent European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 legislation, requiring harmonisation of the BP with the European Pharmacopoeia (EP)
European Pharmacopoeia
The European Pharmacopoeia of the Council of Europe is a pharmacopoeia, listing a wide range of active substances and excipients used to prepare pharmaceutical products in Europe...

, as well as the adoption of International Nonproprietary Name
International Nonproprietary Name
An International Nonproprietary Name is the official nonproprietary or generic name given to a pharmaceutical substance, as designated by the World Health Organization...

s across the EU has meant that, with the notable exception of adrenaline/epinephrine
Epinephrine is a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It increases heart rate, constricts blood vessels, dilates air passages and participates in the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. In chemical terms, adrenaline is one of a group of monoamines called the catecholamines...

, BANs are now the same as the INNs.

This has resulted in an interesting situation in countries such as Australia. While the British Pharmacopoeia and BANs are the official pharmacopoeia/names defined by legislation in these countries, the former-BANs continue to be used, purportedly because of the difficulty of changeover. Despite the importance of the BP there appears to be little or no movement in the direction of changing these names.

See also

  • International English food terms
    International English food terms
    The following list of international English food terms points out differences in food terminology between some different dialects of English:-List:- Digestive biscuits and Graham crackers :...

  • Nomenclature
    Nomenclature is a term that applies to either a list of names or terms, or to the system of principles, procedures and terms related to naming - which is the assigning of a word or phrase to a particular object or property...

  • United States Adopted Name
    United States Adopted Name
    United States Adopted Names are unique nonproprietary names assigned to pharmaceuticals marketed in the United States. Each name is assigned by the USAN Council, which is co-sponsored by the American Medical Association , the United States Pharmacopeial Convention , and the American Pharmacists...

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