Change is coming

antibiotics pills medicines
Medication reviews to reduce possible harms from polypharmacy are crucial

Get ready for the big ingredient name changes in 2020, regulator warns

The TGA is advising health professionals and consumers alike to be ready for the 2020 deadline for the alteration to the naming of hundreds of medicine ingredients.

From the 1 May 2020 all medicines released for supply in Australia must use the new ingredient names. A total of 227 ingredients will have their name altered in some from this date.

In its latest advice, posted this week, the TGA says “the four year transition period has provided sufficient time for sponsors to move over to using the new names.

With less than 12 months left, consumers and health professionals are expecting to see the new ingredient names on medicine labels and relevant documentation”.

Some products will have dual labelling, including both the old and new name as displayed below on the product label until 2023, others have significant changes, or minor spelling changes, or simply have the hydration changed in the name  (an example of the latter is Calcium gluconate changing to Calcium gluconate monohydrate).

Examples of ingredients whose names are changing are:

  • Oestradiol to estradiol
  • Phytic Acid to fytic acid 
  • Dexamphetamine sulfate to dexamfetamine sulfate
  • Cephalexin to cefalexin monohydrate
  • Amoxycillin to amoxicillin
  • thyroxine sodium to levothyroxine sodium
  • Diclofenac diethylammonium to diclofenac diethylamine
  • Chitosan to poliglusam
  • Hexamine hippurate to methenamine hippurate
  • Manganese aspartate to manganese diaspartate

The pharmaceutical industry is being advised that: “sponsors need to make sure that all relevant documentation is being updated and to minimise stock that still use old ingredient names. This will help to reduce confusion for consumers as we approach the end of the transition period.

Generic sponsors can update ingredient names in their medicines documentation without waiting for the innovator to change their products”.

Click here to see the full list of affected ingredients.


Previous Five-year plan
Next Memes to help spread health message

NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. pagophilus

    And this was necessary because……..? Bureaucrats had too much time on their hands. Was this ever a real problem?

    I refuse to spell phytic acid as fytic acid. What next? Elefant? (I refuse to spell cephalexin with a F as well.)

  2. william hau kin so

    I see…
    ph to f, drop the o & change the y to i
    Physiology = Fisilgi
    PhD = FD
    So that the future of Farmaci…

  3. Anthony Zehetner

    So I guess you are not changing your name to pagofilus?

    Some of the changes seem counterintuitive like adding a diacetate or hydrogen at the end won’t make them easier to say or prescribe generically.

    This might be a move to eradicate the “o” from words like oestrogen, oesophageal and colour in future so we all use American-speak. A little Orwellian!

    So we will soon have fitoestrogens — “i” will replace y, not just “f” for ph.

    What happens to phenolphthalein? A dogs breakfast and we will have to rename phenols to fenols.

    How long until the first medication error?

Leave a reply