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A British Approved Name (BAN) is the official non-proprietary or generic name given to a pharmaceutical substance, as defined in the British Pharmacopoeia (BP). The BAN is also the official name used in many countries across the world, especially those of the Commonwealth of Nations.
BANs are unique in that names are assigned for combination preparations as well as single-drug preparations. For example the BAN Co-amoxiclav is assigned to preparations containing amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. Most other pharmacopoeias simply refer to combination products by both ingredients in the preparation, in this example "amoxicillin with clavulanic acid".
The prefix of "co-" is used for many combination drugs, including opioid with paracetamol or aspirin analgesics (e.g., Co-codamol, Co-codaprin, Co-dydramol, Co-proxamol). The other commonly-encountered opioid combination is the anti-diarrhoeal, non-analgesic mixture of diphenoxylate and atropine, Co-phenotrope (a.k.a. Lomotil). Also antibiotics (e.g., Co-fluampicil and Co-trimoxazole), drugs to lower blood pressure (e.g., Co-tenidone), diuretics (e.g., Co-amilofruse and Co-amilozide), gastrointestinal drugs (e.g., Co-danthrusate) and anti-Parkinsonism agents such as Co-careldopa, Co-beneldopa, and others (e.g., Co-cyprindiol).
Recent European Union legislation, requiring harmonisation of the BP with the European Pharmacopoeia (EP), as well as the adoption of International Nonproprietary Names across the EU has meant that, with the notable exception of adrenaline/epinephrine, BANs are now the same as the INNs.
This has resulted in an interesting situation in countries such as Australia. While the British Pharmacopoeia and BANs are the official pharmacopoeia/names defined by legislation in these countries, the former-BANs continue to be used, purportedly because of the difficulty of changeover. The importance of the BP, however, means that these countries are likely to eventually adopt the INNs.
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