Neuroscience-based Nomenclature

The ECNP Taskforce on Nomenclature was established in 2010 to address a longstanding concern within the neuropsychopharmacological community that the nomenclature of psychotropic drugs did not properly reflect the underlying neuroscience of these compounds.

The essence of this concern was that inadequate nomenclature, on the one hand, made it more difficult to identify – and gain approval for – innovative treatments and, on the other, was confusing patients and exacerbating non-compliance, in both cases to the ultimate detriment of patient welfare.

The Taskforce, consisting of representatives from ACNP, AsCNP, CINP, ECNP, and IUPHAR, released the first edition of the new nomenclature at the 27th ECNP Congress.

The Neuroscience-based Nomenclature (NbN), is now available for free download on the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. 

Visit the website:  

Read more:

Feature article: EBC News - Spring 2013

A proposal for an updated neuropsychopharmacological nomenclature, European Neuropsychopharmacology (August 2014) 

The original proposed list of 109 compounds  



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Please give us your feedback to help us to shape and improve the proposal. Thank you!

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by: alireza (25/09/2015 19:22)

by: Cauchois (30/04/2015 02:09)

thank you

by: abdullah öksüz (28/01/2015 13:45)

by: neslihan (28/01/2015 12:58)

by: Pinar (28/01/2015 11:12)

Can I order or download the book ? chris

by: chris bervoets (16/01/2015 12:35)

How can I buy this book? Please help me, i didn't find it on the net.

by: Tristan (29/12/2014 13:22)

Very nice

by: Darghal (10/12/2014 17:47)

by: CARMELO (04/12/2014 17:37)

Thanks for the great work. For varenicline you may want to mention its full but low potency actions at alpha 7 nAChRs and its ability to induce striatal dopamine but attenuate nicotine-induced dopamine release in microdialysis

by: Victoria Wing (07/11/2014 17:18)

An app for Ios/Iphone/Ipad would be greatly appreciated

by: Kenneth Adler (04/11/2014 19:18)

I think that this Taskforce on Nomenclature would be very useful in everyday clinical practice in the first stage of proper psychopharmacological approach. Daily work with psychotic patients require timely selection of a medicament for coupling the primary symptoms of the disease. This reminder will be important to determine the correct decisions about psychopharmacological approach and in subsequent outpatient follow-up. Enhancements in terms of information on ways to enzymatic degradation (CYP enzyme system), synergism and antagonism, could be a useful part of the next edition. Kprisna would make an interesting display of the Taskforce on Nomenclature in the form of android applications. Respectfully D.Milosevic MD Psychiatric Hospital G.Toponica Serbia

by: D.Milosevic (29/10/2014 16:21)

Please, could you offer a Windows Phone app. Thank you.

by: Patrick O'Neill, MD (27/10/2014 15:31)

One possible re-conceptualization would be to list medications together that work for a particular disorder. The medicines approved (by regulatory authorities) could be designated in one manner (*), whereas the others (not officially approved for such) but used for such and known to be effective grouped in as well. This way, the classification is not solely based on --or limited to -- regulatory agency-approved medications that may become outdated after awhile as (some) medications may be found to work for other symptoms/disorders and, of course, are often used "off-label" anyways. Thus, the list would not be as rigid, is flexible, open and up-to-date ---based on more than (only) regulatory approval. Again, to indicate off-label use something as simple as one or two asterisks (*, **) could be utilized. Similarly, just as an ever-increasing number of genes have been identified as being associated with schizophrenia, that list is expected to continue to increase in the near future. Respectfully submitted, Charles S. Wilcox, Ph.D. & Nader Oskooilar, M.D., Ph.D. ~ Pharmacology Research Institute, Newport Beach, California

by: Charles Wilcox (26/04/2014 23:42)

A good initiative

by: Sue Wilson (19/04/2014 18:13)

I believe that the nomenclature should reflect the use of the drug in any given disorder at any given time to enable patients to understand that anticonvulsants, for example, may be used as mood-stabilising agents off-licence. Among doctors, we could refer to the Mode of Action of Drugs or less helpfully their chemical composition. I think the latter less helpful because some drugs of a given molecular structure have entirely different benefit or indication from drugs which are structurally very similar, eg...Atomoxetine and reboxetine. regards, Seán Ó Domhnaill, Consultant Psychiatrist

by: Dr Seán Ó Domhnaill (16/04/2014 23:50)

This looks like a very useful development. I think that the addition of similar information for active metabolites would also be very useful. The taskforce has completed its first stage, would this be included in subsequent stages?

by: Dr Paul Deslandes (16/04/2014 12:40)

Dear Taskforce on Nomenclature: I have had a quick look at the 140214 Nomenclature list that Prof. Goodwin sent to members of the ECNP. I appreciate the work of the committee, and I have a few comments to share. I would like to encourage the committee AS STRONLGY AS POSSIBLE to include an image of the molecular structure of each and every compound, because those of us who are truly interested in the molecular mechanisms of psychotropics are always extremely interested in knowing the configuration of the compounds used to treat human diseases. Without such information, a Wikipedia-type website would strike me as being sadly imcomplete. My past research interest centered on lithium, and so I have also read the information included in the pdf on that ion. In the section "Preclinical" I found, for example, that inhibition of inositol phosphatase is listed twice, which suggests that such repetitions may be common in the current version of the listing. Oc course, that would indicate lack of careful proof-reading and would detract from the authority of the compendium. Best regards, Donald F. Smith Psychiatric Hospital of Aarhus University Risskov, Denmar

by: Donald F. Smith (15/04/2014 22:24)

This is a very nice initiative, and absolutely needed

by: Adrián LLerena (15/04/2014 20:05)

This is a big step towards the dual aim of reducing stigma as well as the ambiguity surrounding drug category versus symptom target. I work primarily in clinical trials and the maintenance of psychometric scale reliability and would like to see some of the same algorithm-based approaches applied in this area to the correct categorization of medication (especially when there are so many that treat multiple indications, e.g., aripiprazole).

by: Dr. Christian Yavorsky (15/04/2014 18:49)