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Memory Aid for Autonomic Drugs by Generic Name Prefix, Root, or Suffix*

Syllable in
Generic Name
-olol
-alol, -ilol
-terol
-zosin, -osin
-curium, -curine,
-curarine
-curonium
-choline
-chol
-stigmine

Interpretation
2-adrenergic blocker, antihypertensive and/or
antianginal
Combination alpha/beta blocker,
antihypertensive, heart failure treatment
2-adrenergic receptor type of bronchodilator
1-adrenoceptor selective antagonists,
antihypertensive;
Isoquinoline neuromuscular blocking agents
Steroid derivative neuromuscular blocking
agents
Cholinesterase sensitive choline ester
cholinergic agonists
Cholinesterase resistant choline ester
cholinergic receptor agonists`
Carbamate anticholinesterase inhibitors

Examples by Generic Name


propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol, nadolol,
timolol, pindolol, nebivolol (NO producer)
labetalol, carvedilol
albuterol, formoterol, levabuterol, pirbuterol,
salmeterol
prazosin, terazosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin,
alfuzosin, silodosin
atracurium, cisatracurium, dosacurium,
mivacurium, metocurine, tubocurarine
pancuronium, pipecuronium, rocuronium,
vecuronium
acetylcholine, methacholine
carbachol, bethanechol
neostigmine, pyridostigmine, physostigmine,
rlivastigmine

* While this may not be an exhaustive list, every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible of drugs in each category that are
therapeutically used

Memory Aid for Cardiovascular Drugs by Generic Name Prefix, Root, or Suffix*
Syllable in
Generic Name
-semide, tanide
-pril,
-sartan
-tidine
-nidine
-triptan
nitr-, -nitr-afil
-dipine
-rinone
-phylline
-statin
-parin
-ase, -plase
-sentan
-afil
-gatran, -rudin

Interpretation
Loop diuretics, antihypertensive, heart failure
treatment
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)
inhibitor, antihypertensive
Angiotensin II receptor antagonist,
antihypertensive
Histamine H2 receptor antagonist (GI),
antiulcer
Centrally acting antihypertensive drugs
Serotonin (5-HT1) agonist, antimigraine,
vascular headache suppressant
Nitrate, vasodilator, antianginal
Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, erectile
dysfunction treatment
Dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker,
antianginal, antihypertensive
Phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitors, inodilators,
heart failure treatment
Xanthine type bronchodilator, antiasthmatic
HMG-Coenzyme A reductase inhibitor, lipid
lowering agent
Anticoagulant, heparin or heparinoid (all
LMWH only have parin)
Thrombolytic agent (-ase usually indicates
enzyme)
Endothelin receptor antagonist, vasodilator,
currently only approved for pulmonary
hypertension
Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, erectile
dysfunction treatment
Direct thrombin inhibitors, anticoagulants

Examples by Generic Name


furosemide, torsemide, bumetanide
captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril,
quinapril, moexipril, perindopril
candesartan, eprosartan, losartan, valsartan,
irbesartan, telmisartan, olmesartan
cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine, nizatidine
clonidine, rilmenidine, moxonidine
almotriptan, naratriptan, sumatriptan,
zolmitriptan, rizatriptan, frovatriptan
nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate
sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil
amlodipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, felodipine
inamrinone, milrinone
aminophylline, theophylline, enprophylline
atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin,
simvastatin, rosuvastatin
heparin, dalteparin, enoxaparin, tinzaparin
alteplase, anistreplase, reteplase,
streptokinase, tenecteplase, urokinase
bosentan, sitaxsentan, ambrisentan
Sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil
Argatroban, dabigatran, lepirudin, desirudin,
bivalirudin

* While this may not be an exhaustive list, every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible of drugs in each category that are
therapeutically used

Memory Aid for Pulmonary (Respiratory), Gastrointestinal Drugs by Generic Name Prefix,
Root, or Suffix*
Syllable in
Generic Name
-prazole
-phylline
-tropium
-lukast
-setron
-tidine
-pitant
-salazine
Asa, -asa

Interpretation
Proton pump inhibitors, anti-GERD and
antipeptic ulcer disease
Xanthine type of bronchodilator, antiasthmatic
Anticholinergic, muscarinic antagonists,
antiasthmatics
Leukotriene receptor antagonists,
antiasthmatics
Serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonists,
antiemetic and IBS treatment
H2 histamine receptor antagonists, anti-GERD
and anti-ulcer disease
Neurokinin receptor antagonists, anti-emetic,
possibly anxiolytic, antidepressant, antiosteoarthritic
AZO aminosalicylates, irritable bowel disease
(IBD)
Mesalamine compounds (5-ASA
formulations), IBD

Examples by Generic Name


omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole,
rabeprazole, pantoprazole
aminophylline, theophylline
ipratropium, tiotropium
zafirlukast, montelukast
ondansetron, granisetron, dolasertron,
palonosetron
cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine, nizatidine
aprepitant,fosaprepitant, casopitant, maropitant
sulfasalazine, olsalazine, balsalzine
Pentasa, asacol, rowasa, canasa

* While this may not be an exhaustive list, every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible of drugs in each category that are
therapeutically used

Memory Aid for Chemotherapy Drugs by Generic Name Prefix, Root, or Suffix*
Syllable in
Generic Name
-cillin
cef-, ceph-

Interpretation
Penicillin, antibiotic; check allergy

-cycline
-onazole, -azole

Cephalosporin, antibiotic; check allergy to


this class and penicillins
Tetracycline, antibiotic
Antifungal, antimicrobial

-floxacin

Fluoroquinolone, antibiotic

-micin, -mycin
-thromycin
sulfa-ovir

Aminoglycoside, antibiotic
Macrolide, antibiotic
Sulfonamide, antibiotic; check allergy to
sulfa
Antiviral antiinfective (non-HIV)

-fungin
-quine

Echinocandin antifungal
Antimalarial

-rubicin
-otecan

Anthracycline, cancer chemotherapy


Topoisomerase (Topo I) inhibitor, cancer
chemotherapy
Podophyllotoxin, topoisomerase (TopoII)
inhibitor, cancer chemotherapy
Vinca alkaloids, mitosis inhibitor, cancer
chemotherapy
Nitrosourea alkylating agents, cancer
chemotherapy
Taxane, mitosis inhibitor, cancer
chemotherapy
Monoclonal antibodies, cancer
chemotherapy**
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors, cancer
chemotherapy
Selective estrogen receptor modulators,
cancer chemotherapy, endocrine therapy
Aromatase inhibitors, cancer chemotherapy

-oposide
Vintine
-mustine
-taxel
-mab
-tinib, -fenib
-ifen, -ifene
-trozole

Examples by Generic Name


amoxicillin, penicillin, piperacillin, ticarilllin,
nafcillin, oxacillin, ampicillin
cefazolin, cephalexin, cefotetan, ceftazidime,
ceftriazone
doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline
itraconazole, fluconazole, clotrimazole,
miconazole
ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin,
sparfloxacin
gentamicin, kanamycin, netilmicin, tobramycin
erythromycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin
sulfacetamide, sulfamethoxazole
acyclovir, cidofovir, famciclovir, gangciclovir,
valacyclovir
caspofungin, anidulafungin, micafungin
chloroquine, mefloquine, primaquine,
amiodiaquine
doxorubicin, daunorubicin, idarubicin
Irinotecan, topotecan
Etoposide, teniposide
vincristine, vinblastine
Carmustine, lomustine, bendamustine
paclitaxel, docetaxel
cetuximab, trastuzumab, bevacizumab,
rituximab, gemtuzumab
Imatinib, erlotinib, gefitinib, sorafenib, sunitinib
Tamoxifen, raloxifene, toremifene, arzoxifene
anastrozole, letrozole

* While this may not be an exhaustive list, every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible of drugs in each category that are
therapeutically used

**Naming convention for monoclonal antibody:


letter preceding mab identifies species in which antibody was generated (o, mu = mouse; u = human; xi = chimeric;
zu = humanized; i = primate)
type of protein antibody is directed against indicated by (tu = tumor; vi = virus c or ci = circulating factor

Memory Aid for Drugs Acting in the Central Nervous System by Generic Name Prefix, Root,
or Suffix*
Syllable in
Generic Name
-zepam, -zolam
-azine
-peridol
-caine

-ane

Interpretation
Benzodiazepine, antianxiety,
sedative/hypnotic
Phenothiazine dopamine receptor
antagonists, antipsychotic, antiemetic
Butyrphenones, dopamine receptor
antagonists, antipsychotic, antiemetic
Local anesthetics:
amino ester class has only 1 i in name
amino amide class has 2 is in name

-barbital

Halogenated hydrocarbon inhalation


anesthetics, general anesthetics
Barbiturate sedative/hypnotic, antiepileptic

-pramine, -tyline

Tricyclic antidepressants

azodone

Serotonin 5-HT2 receptor antagonists,


antidepressants
Benzodiazepine antagonist (nil = antagonist)

-azenil

Examples by Generic Name


diazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, alprazolam,
midazolam
chlorpromazine, perphenazine, thioridazine,
fluphenazine, trifluoperazine,thiethylperazine;
prochlorperazine, promethazine,
haloperidol, droperidol
Esters: cocaine, procaine, tetracaine,
benzocaine
Amides: lidocaine, mepivacaine, bupivacaine,
ropivacaine, articaine
sevoflurane, desflurane, isoflurane, enflurane,
halothane
phenobarbital, amobarbital, mephobarbital,
pentobarbital, secobarbital
imipramine, desipramine, chlomipramine,
trimipramine; amitryiptyline, nortriptyline,
protryptyline
trazodone, nefazodone
flumazenil

* While this may not be an exhaustive list, every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible of drugs in each category that are
therapeutically used

Memory Aid for Endocrine and Anti-inflammatory Drugs by Generic Name Prefix, Root, or
Suffix*
Syllable in
Generic Name
-relin
-relix
-vaptan
-lutamide
-gliptin
-tide
sal-, -sal-sone, -lone,
pred-dronate
-glitazone
-asteride
-afil

Interpretation
Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists
Gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonists
(X is for blocker/antagonist)
ADH receptor blockers
Androgen receptor blockers
Oral hypoglycemic DPP-4 blockers
GLP-1 agonists (incretin-mimetics)
Contains salicylate; check allergy to
salicylates or aspirin
Corticosteroid, anti-inflammatory,
antiasthmatic, immunosuppressant
Bisphosphonate, bone resorption inhibitor
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor
gamma (PPAR) activators, antidiabetic
(Type II), plasma lipid lowering agents
5-alpha reductase inhibitors
PDE-5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction

Examples by Generic Name


gonadorelin, nafarelin, goserelin, triptorelin,
sermorelin (exception is leuprolide)
cetrorelix, ganirelix, degarelix
conivaptan, tolvaptan, lixivaptan, satavaptan
flutamide, bicaluatmide
sitagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin
exenatide, liraglutide
salsalate, (nonopioid analgesic), sulfasalazine
(GI anti-inflammatory)
prednisone, betamethasone, dexamethasone,
cortisone, triamcinolone, prednisolone
alendronate, etidronate, pamidronate,
risedronate, ibandronate, zoledronate
pioglitazone, rosiglitazone
finasteride, dutasteride
sudenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil

* While this may not be an exhaustive list, every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible of drugs in each category that are
therapeutically used