Drug Dictionary

A pharmaceutical A to Z

Virginia Cancer Institute wants you to know all you can about the medications you are taking. Use this VCI drug search engine to review information about current FDA-approved cancer drugs.

A chemotherapy drug or supportive care agent may be referred to by different names. Typically, when a drug is first approved by the FDA for clinical use, the trade name selected by the manufacturer is used. However, the same agent may also be referred to by its chemical name. Once the original manufacturer’s patent on the drug has expired, other manufacturers, with FDA approval, are allowed to produce and market the same chemical compound, which is typically referred to as a “generic” form of the original. Sometimes these manufacturers will market the generic form under a new trade name to help identify it in the marketplace. Finally, the actual chemical name of the compound is sometimes used by medical professionals rather than the trade name or generic name.

Our drug dictionary is organized alphabetically, including both generic and trade names. Alternately, you may view a list of drugs by “class.”