Most prescription drugs placed on the market are given trade names (also called proprietary, brand, or specialty names) to distinguish them as being produced and marketed exclusively by a particular manufacturer. In the United States, these names are usually registered as trademarks with the Patent Office; this gives the registrant certain legal rights with respect to the use of the name. A trade name may be registered for a product containing a single active ingredient, with or without additives, or for one containing two or more active ingredients.
A drug marketed by several companies may have several trade names. A drug manufactured in one country and marketed in many countries may have different trade names in each country.
Throughout this book, generic (nonproprietary) names have been used whenever possible. However, because trade names are used commonly and may be more readily recognized, the generic drugs mentioned in this book are listed below in alphabetic order along with many of their trade names. A second table follows, listing the trade names in alphabetic order along with their generic name.
With few exceptions, the trade names in these tables are limited to those marketed in the United States. These tables are by no means all-inclusive, and no effort has been made to list every trade name in current use for each drug. The inclusion of a drug in these tables does not indicate approval of a drug's use, nor does it imply that a drug is effective or safe. Many drugs are marketed almost exclusively under their generic name. Including a trade name of such a drug in these tables does not indicate an endorsement or a preference for the trade name version over the generic version.
Whether it is best to use a trade or a generic version of a drug may be a complex decision. It is best to discuss such matters with a doctor or pharmacist.
Last full review/revision March 2010