Pharmacology: Some Drug Suffixes

Here are some simple suffixes that might help you identify the action of a certain drug even if you haven’t heard of it:

Suffix Explanation & Exmaple
-azine phenothiazine-like antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine)
-ane volatile general anesthetics (e.g., halothane)
-azepam antianxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam)
-bital barbiturate sedative hypnotic drugs (e.g., phenobarbital)
-caine local anesthetics (e.g., cocaine)
-cillin penicillins (e.g., nafcillin)
-cycline tetracycline-type antibiotics (e.g., doxycycline)
-olol β-blockers (e.g., propranolol)
-opril ACE inhibitors (e.g., captopril)
-statin HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (e.g., lovastatin)
-zosin postpynaptic α-receptor blockers (e.g., terazosin)

Here is also a link to the list of medical roots, prefixes and suffixes from Wikipedia

Source: USMLE Phamacology Recall, 2nd Edition

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *