Generic Drug Name Stems Cheat Sheet

Generic Drug Name Stems Cheat Sheet
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If you are studying nursing pharmacology, a great way of understanding and memorizing the use and function of medication is to familiarize yourself with its generic name stem. Usually, drugs of the same therapeutic class are given names with the same stem. These stems are mostly placed word-finally (suffix), but in some cases, word-initial (prefix) stems are also used.

Stems are useful for making communication of drugs more precise to avoid prescribing errors. Having an unambiguous standard of names for each drug is important because many different brand names may sell a drug, or a branded medication may contain more than one drug.

Common Drug Stems Cheat Sheet

Below is a cheat sheet table with three columns: Drug Stem, Drug Class, and an Example. Each stem has hyphens at one or both ends of its text to show that it is found at the beginning, end, or middle of the generic name. You can also download the cheat sheet below.

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STEMDEFINITIONEXAMPLES
–acNSAID (acetic acid derivatives)bromfenac, dexpemedolac
–adol–mixed opiate receptor agonists/antagonistslevonantradol, spiradoline, tazadolene
–afilInhibitor of PDE5 with vasodilator actionsildenafil (viagra), tadalafil
–alolCombined alpha and beta blockerslabetalol, medroxalol
–andr–Androgensnandrolone
–anibAngiogenesis inhibitors (inhibits growth of new blood vessels)Pazopanib, Vandetanib
–anserinSerotonin 5–HT(sub)2 receptor antagonistsaltanserin, tropanserin
–arabineAntineoplastics (arabinofuranosyl derivatives)fludarabine
–aseEnzymesalglucerase, dornase alfa
–atadineTricyclic antiasthmaticsolopatadine, loratadine
–axineAntianxiety, antidepressantvenlafaxine
–azenilBenzodiazepine receptor agonists/antagonistsbretazenil, flumazenil
–azepamAntianxiety agents (diazepam type)lorazepam, diazepam
–azepideCholecystokinin receptor antagonistsdevazepide
–azocineNarcotic antagonists/agonistsquadazocine, ketazocine
–azolineAntihistamines/local vasoconstrictorsantazoline
–azosinAntihypertensives (prazosin type)doxazosin
–bactamBeta–lactamase inhibitorssulbactam
–bamateTranquilizers/antiepilepticsmeprobamate, felbamate
–barb–Barbituric acid derivativesphenobarbital, secobarbital
–bersatAnticonvulsants; antimigrainecarabersat; tidembersat
–bufenNSAID (fenbufen derivatives)indobufen
–butanAntisepticsdapabutan, lopbutan
–butazoneAnti–inflammatory analgesics (phenylbutazone type)mofebutazone
–caineLocal anestheticslidocaine, dibucaine
–carbefAntibiotics (carbacephem derivatives)loracarbef
–cillinPenicillinsampicillin, penicillin, oxacillin
–cogblood coagulation factorseptacog alfa, nonacog alfa, octocog alfa
–conazoleAntifungals (miconazole type)fluconazole, oxiconazole
–cort–Cortisone derivativeshydrocortisone
–curiumNeuromuscular blocking agentsatracurium
–cyclineAntibiotics (tetracycline type)minocycline, tetracycline
–dralazineAntihypertensives (hydrazine–phthalazines)hydralazine
–dronateCalcium metabolism regulatorsetidronate, tiludronate
–ectinAntiparasitics (ivermectin type)doramectin, moxidectin
–erg–Ergot alkaloid derivativespergolide
–etanideDiureticsbumetanide
–fenamic acidAnti-inflammatory agentsmefenamic acid, flufenamic acid
–fentanilNarcotic analgesicsalfentanil, mirfentanil
–fibrateAntihyperlipidemicsbezafibrate
–fluraneInhalation anestheticsenflurane, isoflurane
–gest–Progestinsmegestrol
–gilineMAO-inhibitors, type Bselegiline
–gillinAntibiotics (aspergillus strains)mitogillin
–gliptinAntihyperglycemicsvildagliptin
–glitazarAntihyperglycemics, PPRA agonistsfarglitazar
–glizatoneAntihyperglycemics, PPST agonistsciglitazone, rosiglitazone
–grel–Platelet aggregation inhibitorclopidogrel, ticagrelor
–imexImmunostimulantsforfenimex, roquinimex
–imusImmunosuppresivestacrolimus, napirimus, gusperimus
–irudinAnticoagulantsdesirudin
–leukinInterleukin–2 derivativesteceleukin, aldesleukin
–lukastLeukotriene antagonistsmontelukast, zafirlukast
–mabMonoclonal antibodiescapromab, daclizumab, detumomab
–mantadineAntiviralsrimantadine
–milastAntiasthmatics/antiallergics; type IV phosphodiesterase inhibitorspiclamilast
–monamMonobactam antibioticsgloximonam
–mustineAntineoplasticscarmustine
–mycinAntibiotics (streptomyces strains)lincomycin
–ololBeta–blockers (propranolol type)timolol, atenolol
–oloneSteroids (no prednisone derivatives)minaxolone
–orphanNarcotic antagonists/agonistsmethrophan, dextrorphan
–oxacinAntibiotics (quinolone derivatives)difloxacin, ciprofloxacin
–oxetineAntidepressantsduloxetine, reboxetine
–pamideDiuretics (sulfamoylbenzoic acid derivatives)adipamide
–pamilCoronary vasodilatorstiapamil
–parinHeparin derivativesheparin, tinzaparin, dalteparin
–peridolAntipsychotics (haloperidol type)haloperidol
–peridoneAntispsychotics (risperidone type)risperidone, iloperidone
–pidemHypnotics/sedatives (zolpidem)zolpidem, alpidem
–piridineCognition enhancerslinopiridine, besipiridine
–poetinErythropoietinsepoetin alfa, epoetin beta
–pramineAntidepressants (imipramine type)lofepramine
–prazoleProton-pump inhibitoromeprazole, lansoprazole
–pred–Prednisone derivativesprednicarbate, cloprednol
–prilAntihypertensives (ACE inhibitors)captopril, temocapril, spirapril
–profenAnti–inflammatory/analgesic agents (ibuprofen type)flurbiprofen
–prost–Prostaglandin analoguelatanoprost, unoprostone
–rubicinAntineoplastic antibiotics (daunorubicin type)epirubicin, idarubicin
–sartanAngiotensin II receptor antagonistslosartan, eprosartan
–statinRenal dehydropeptidase inhibitor pepsin inhibitorcilastatin, pepstatin
–ster–Steroids (androgens, anabolics)testosterone
–sulfaAntibiotics (sulfonamide derivatives)sulfasalazine
–tegrastAntiasthmatics/antiallergics; integrin antagonistsvalategrast
–terolBronchodilators (phenethylamine derivatives)albuterol
–thiazideDiuretics (thiazide derivatives)chlorothiazide
–tidepeptides and glycopeptidesNesiritide, Octreotide
–tocinOxytocin derivativesoxytocin, pitocin
–trexateAntimetabolites (folic acid derivatives)methotrexate
–triptylineAntidepressantsamitriptyline
–trodastAntiasthmatics/antiallergics; thromboxane A2 receptor antagonistsseratrodast
–uracilUracil derivatives used as thyroid antagonists and as antineoplasticsfluorouracil
–vastatinAntihyperlipidemics (HMG–CoA inhibitors)lovastatin, simvastatin
–zolastAntiasthmatics/antiallergics; benzoxazole derivativeseclazolast, ontazolast
–zumabhumanized antibodiesnatalizumab, bevacizumab
bol–, –bol–Anabolic steroidsbolandiol, mibolerone
cef–Cephalosporins (first-gen)cefazolin
estr–Estrogensestrone
vir-, -vir- or -virAntiviral substances (undefined group)viroxime, envirodyne, ganciclovir

Download Drug Stem Cheat Sheet

Need to download our drug stem cheat sheets? Click on the images below to see the high-quality resolution of the image. Please feel free to print, share, and use it in your presentation or reports!

SOURCEUS NLM
Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.

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