Drug not available in US
Thread poster: Patricia Bower

Patricia Bower
United States
Local time: 17:48
Member (2012)
Spanish to English
Sep 5, 2014

I am translating a patients medication treatment and one of the drugs is Zamene (available in Spain). However in the US this drug is not available. I have found that prednisolone is similar but not quite the same. When doing this type of translation do you list the drug indicated with a note that it or a US equivalent is not available? Looking for some guidance regarding this issue.

Thanks everyone that can help.


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Helen Genevier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:48
French to English
Give the INN Sep 5, 2014

Hi Patricia, I'd keep the Spanish brand name and put the INN deflazacort in brackets afterwards.

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:48
English to Russian
+ ...
Be precise and know what you are doing Sep 5, 2014

In my practice, when a patient document mentions a proprietary drug name (regardless of its availability in a given country), I give it as is and append the INN in square brackets. In your case, this would be "Zamene [INN: deflazacort]". Zamene is definitely NOT prednisolone, it is merely a drug from the same family, so mentioning prednisolone here would be a really serious error (serious enough to warrant disqualification from further work with this type of documents). Simply replacing a proprietary name with the corresponding INN would also be incorrect, because the same active ingredient may be offered in different formulations with different pharmacokinetic (i.e. what the body does with the drug) and pharmacodynamic (i.e. what the drug does with the body) properties. So, you really have to know what you are doing! If you are not 100% sure, leave it as is or, better yet, don't accept jobs on this subject - leave highly specialized fields to those who have at least some background in them.

P.S. Proprietary drug names are usually capitalized, while INNs are not.

[Edited at 2014-09-05 16:09 GMT]


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Patricia Bower
United States
Local time: 17:48
Member (2012)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
deflazacort Sep 5, 2014

Deflazacort is also not available in the US. Would I still use that?

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Patricia Bower
United States
Local time: 17:48
Member (2012)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Anton Sep 5, 2014

Thank you Anton. What you said is what I thought.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Stay Out of Trouble Sep 5, 2014

As a translator, you merely translate what is there, and THAT'S ALL. Do not venture any alternative name or that it may not be available in the U.S., that's none of your business as a translator, and you need to stay out of trouble.

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 23:48
English to Russian
+ ...
YESSS! Sep 5, 2014

Deflazacort is also not available in the US. Would I still use that?


Definitely. No question about it.


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Rudolf Frans Maulany  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:48
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Yes Sep 5, 2014

Yes, same opinion you should still use it.

There are two names for a medicine:
1. Brand name is name of a medicine given by the manufacturer in your example Zamene .
2. Generic name is name of standard original content of a medicine, for example Zamene contains a steroid derivative(with generic name). In conclusion a generic name is always the same but different manufacturer gave different brand names to the same generic medicine.

Because I am a medical doctor and medical translator and willing to share my experience.

[Edited at 2014-09-05 17:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-09-05 18:01 GMT]


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:48
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Specialized fields Sep 5, 2014

Anton Konashenok wrote:

So, you really have to know what you are doing! If you are not 100% sure, leave it as is or, better yet, don't accept jobs on this subject - leave highly specialized fields to those who have at least some background in them.


Agree.


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:48
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree Sep 5, 2014

Henry Hinds wrote:

As a translator, you merely translate what is there, and THAT'S ALL. Do not venture any alternative name or that it may not be available in the U.S., that's none of your business as a translator, and you need to stay out of trouble.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:48
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The important thing is what was administered to the patient Sep 6, 2014

Here you have to forget all about a translation reading as if it was written in the source language as far as the facts are concerned.

The fact that the drug may or may not be available in another country is not relevant.

In most cases readers (researchers, medical staff continuing the patient's treatment, whoever) need to know precisely what was administered. It is up to them, not the translator, to assess what to do if it is not available.

I am lucky because the Danish Medicines and Health Authority website has an English version that gives the information I need about drugs available in Denmark, and it is easy to check alongside the Danish version.

It is worth looking for similar websites in other languages.

[Edited at 2014-09-06 08:27 GMT]


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:48
Russian to English
+ ...
No--you have to translate everything the original text says, keeping the names Sep 6, 2014

You cannot compare the drug with any other drug or use a description of another drug.
Don't write any other medication names--don't mention anything else at all, even in parenthesis. This is for the pharmacists to do later.

[Edited at 2014-09-06 08:51 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:48
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Translator's note? Sep 6, 2014

I agree with those who advise against using a different name for the medication. If you're really troubled, why not insert a translator's note explaining your concern? Or inform the client in a separate message?
Best wishes
Jenny


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Michael Barnett
Local time: 17:48
English
+ ...
Agree with Anton Sep 7, 2014

This issue of a drug not being available in a particular country occurs all the time and the people who have to deal with it, doctors and pharmacists, know what to do.

Keep the original drug names in your translation.


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