Chemotherapy drug names
This page explains about chemotherapy drug names. There is a list of all our cancer drug pages in the cancer treatment section of CancerHelp UK. There is information on this page about
Drugs have a generic name and may also have one or more brand names
- The generic name is the chemical name of the drug, for example, paracetamol
- The brand or trade name is the name given to the drug by the company that makes the drug, such as Panadol or Calpol
Drugs may be made by more than one company and so may have more than one brand name. For some drugs the brand or trade name is the most commonly used name. For other drugs the generic name is most often used. You can ask your chemotherapy nurse, pharmacist or doctor to tell you the generic name and the brand names of the drug they are using in your treatment.
Doctors often treat cancer with a combination of anti cancer drugs. And sometimes combined with other medicines, such as steroids or biological therapies. The drug combinations used are often known by a word made up from the first letters of the drug names. This type of made up word is called an acronym. The links in this page all take you to specific side effect information about the drug.
Some combination chemotherapy names are simple, like MIC
One acronym that is not so obvious is
If your doctor gives you one of these acronyms, you can ask them to explain what each letter stands for. It is a good idea to ask for the drug names to be written down for you in full. Many cancer drug names begin with the same letter, and it is important to be sure you know which drugs you are having.
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