Drug Nomenclature in West Africa

Roger A. Lewis1 and E. Eben-Moussi2
1. Professor of Pharmacology
2. Professor of Pharmacology

Volume 2 No 1 (1974) pp 1-9
Published online July, 2022.
© 1974 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license

During a short teaching visit to the Cameroons, it became obvious that there was more than a language difference with respect to the drugs used in the practice of medicine.

A list of important drugs used in Ghana had been compiled for teaching purposes. The French equivalent for each of these drugs was sought in text books (1), (2) and in the pharmaceutical guide known as Vidal, (3). Latter official names were checked in the French pharmoacopea (4). The English names were also checked in text books (5), (6) and in the pharmaceutical guide known as African Mims, (7). The original list was modified to include French prototypes and frequently used French drugs. However, mixtures and preparations containing more than one active ingredient were omitted. Some 240 items have been classified under 44 headings in Table I. the non-proprietary name, or official name, is given in small letters while the proprietary name, or at least one of the proprietary names, is given with a capital letter. Both English and French names are listed for those drugs which are available in Anglophone and Francophone countries. Due to lack of space not all of the important drugs could be listed, not all of the proprietary names could be given and in some cases the salt of the active base is not mentioned. The most recently developed drugs are included even though data on their nomenclature is difficult to find.

© The Author(s) 1974. Published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.