I have sometimes run into cases where I want to translate the name of a medication into Spanish, but can't find the specific medicine name in a dictionary (e.g. amoxicillin, acetaminophen). This is one area in language learning where you probably don't want to guess at what you think is the translation!

Are there any patterns for translating technical medicine names from English to Spanish? If not, are there any resources (printed or online) for finding the accurate translations of medications?

  • 5
    A good place to look for translations of medicine names is Wikipedia by the way. Dec 1 '11 at 8:08
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    +1 for Wiki. Also good to know, that same generic might be sold under plethora of brand names, many of which are specific to local market.
    – vartec
    Dec 1 '11 at 14:16


I searched the two substances on your example and it located both (more or less).

And for patterns of translation:

· -in --> -ina (amoxicilin = amoxicilina)

· ph --> f (acetaminophen = acetaminofén)

· -ol --> -ol (metamizol = metamizol)

· -ic --> -ico (phosphoric acid --> ácido fosfórico)

· -at --> -ato (sulphat = sulfato)

. all the chemical elements in spanish end in -o

Per comments: Except Inert gases except Helium = Helio and some elements that conserve their classical name like Plata, Flúor, Azufre, Cobre, Cinc, Níquel.

  • Excepto los gases inertes menos el Helio (Neón, argón, kriptón, xenón y radón) algunos elementos que se conocían desde la antigüedad que conservan sus nombres tradicionales: Plata, cobre, cinc, niquel, flúor, azufre y tal vez algún otro.
    – Nexus
    Nov 30 '11 at 23:51
  • @Nexus cierto, he añadido tu comentario a la respuesta, pero al tratarse de compuestos médicos no se hasta que punto can a encontrar gases inertes o elementos en su nombre clásico.
    – Laura
    Dec 1 '11 at 8:00
  • :) solo era un comentario anecdótico bastante tangencial.
    – Nexus
    Dec 1 '11 at 9:22
  • @Laura: por poner un par de ejemplos: el acexamato de zinc es el principio activo de un protector gástrico; el nitrato de plata, para tratar verrugas; el sulfato de cobre para lesiones de piel, etc
    – user13560
    Oct 14 '16 at 14:48

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