'Research and clinical pharmacologists frequently present data on impure drugs'. Because generic drug names often hide the fact that different stereoisomers (possibly with different pharmacological properties) may be present in the 'pure' preparation, this statement is all too frequently true. However, the problem may be overcome by pharmacologists and publishers adopting the user-friendly SIGNS nomenclature devised and explained here by Miklos Simonyi, Joseph Gal and Bernard Testa. The acronym stands for 'stereochemically informative generic name system'. Seven prefixes are offered to describe the stereochemical nature of any drug. The appropriate prefix would be attached to the generic name. A generic name without prefix would indicate a single agent with no stereoisomers.
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