Generic or Trade name?

  1. Keeping up with all the new meds is tough enough. Learning both generic and trade names is making my head spin :spin: !!!

    Our Docs mostly order meds by the more common trade names.
    Nursing journals refer to meds by the generic names.
    Patients mostly call their meds by the trade names, (if they remember the names at all!)

    It's enough to make this old brain explode::spin: !!!

    What do you think? Do you refer to meds by their generic names or by their more common trade names? What would help make communication more clear (easier?) for staff and patients alike?

    Guess it's back to making those med cards like in school! Pass the naproxyn sodium please!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   susanmary
    You're lucky patients remember their medication names at all. How many of you out there have patients who "take a small white pill for blood pressure."

    Doggie -- hang in there -- you'll learn the generic/trade names after awhile. Just keep a drug reference book closeby.
  4. by   dianah
    In Radiology, all pts appointment slips instruct them to "list or bring all your medications," as we need to screen for pts on metformin (glucophage or glucovance) before administering IV iodine contrast, at the very least. Some pts give the same answers that susanmary gets: "It's a blue pill." When open-ended questioning is used, they can't think of the med. name; when closed-ended questioning is used, pts will often say "Yes, that's it." to the wrong med --- I KNOW, because I call the pharmacy where they get their meds, and ask the pharmacist!! Very scary, that some have absolutely NO idea what they take, for what condition, let alone the side effects and things to watch for (e.g., don't have IV iodine if you're taking glucophage or glucovance . . .). Some, on the other hand, are so informed and helpful; I make it a point to make some kind of positive and reinforcing comment when the pt is knowledgeable and informed. The others who are not, well, here goes more patient teaching. . . Job security???? --- Diana, "Rad" nurse
  5. by   dianah
    OOPS, got off the thread! Yes, keep some sort of reference handy. I'm getting better w/some of 'em, will keep working on the others. --- Diana
  6. by   Jenny P
    I find it very difficult to remember both names myself. I've been carrying around my own nursing drug books so I can think of them as needed.
  7. by   P_RN
    Our teaching hospital required only generic names, so the residents HAD to comply. The Pyxis listed both, a great help. The private docs....well they do live in their own little universe don't they?

    PS I carry a list of mine with me because *I* can't remember all those many colored pills.
  8. by   fedupnurse
    Our computer has a listing of all the drugs by generic or brand so if you aren't sure you can type in either and there it is! Uhoh! I have an idea for another thread!
  9. by   Q.
    Keep a reference handy, but also, what I've learned as a Refill Nurse for Internal Medicine, is it's very important (usually for insurance purposes) to use the name which was written on the script! For example, if the doc writes warfarin, then use warfarin, not coumadin. If he/she writes lisinopril, use that instead of prinivil. So many times health care providers interchange the two names and really, they are different formularies.
  10. by   hoolahan
    I will never remember them all. I keep a drug book in my nursing bag. Some pt's think I should "know" this stuff. I said for every drug listed in this book, and it's over a thousand pages, there are usually a min of three names for each one." That usually shuts them up! When I make pt's out a list of their drugs, I usually write generic and the trade name they use, if there is one.
  11. by   KaraLea
    A good drug reference book is a must. This helped keep me from making alot of mistakes in my 6 years as a LVN.

    :roll :chuckle :roll
  12. by   wheelie
    In my experience, if the patient has medicare, they will automatically get generic unless the prescription states BRAND NECESSARY. Therefore many patients do not know the brand names. A nursing drug handbook with generic AND brand names is handy
  13. by   Ted
    My nose is always in the Drug reference book.

    Ted
  14. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    After awhile you get used to the ones you use frequently. But for everything else, I'm with Ted. I'm NEVER ashamed to go looking for the drug book!

    Heather

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