A carbon-11 labelled radiopharmaceutical

Radiopharmaceuticals, or medicinal radiocompounds, are a group of pharmaceutical drugs which have radioactivity. Radiopharmaceuticals can be used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Radiopharmaceuticals emit radiation themselves, which is different from contrast media which absorb or alter external electromagnetism or ultrasound. Radiopharmacology is the branch of pharmacology that specializes in these agents.

The main group of these compounds are the radiotracers used to diagnose dysfunction in body tissues. While not all medical isotopes are radioactive, radiopharmaceuticals are the oldest and still most common such drugs.

ATC codes
V Various
V01 Allergens
V03 All other therapeutic products
V04 Diagnostic agents
V06 General nutrients
V07 All other non-therapeutic products
V08 Contrast media
V10 Therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals
V20 Surgical dressings

Drug nomenclature

As with other pharmaceutical drugs, there is standardization of the drug nomenclature for radiopharmaceuticals, although various standards coexist. The International Nonproprietary Names (INNs), United States Pharmacopeia (USP) names, and IUPAC names for these agents are usually similar other than trivial style differences.[1] The details are explained at Radiopharmacology § Drug nomenclature for radiopharmaceuticals.

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