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Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System

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Title: Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System  
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Subject: ATC codes, Diuretic, Proton-pump inhibitor, ACE inhibitor, Renin inhibitor
Collection: Atc Codes, Drugs, Drugs by Target Organ System, Pharmacological Classification Systems
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System

The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System is used for the

  • EphMRA Anatomical Classification (ATC and NFC)
  • ATC Code List

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
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See also

ATC follows guidelines [7] in creating new codes for newly approved drugs. In order to create a new ATC code, an application has to be sent to ATC. New ATC codes are published twice annually.[8] A formal release of new ATC edition occurs once a year.

Updates to ATC

National issues of the ATC classification, such as the German Anatomisch-therapeutisch-chemische Klassifikation mit Tagesdosen, may include additional codes and DDDs not present in the WHO version.[6]

National adaptations


The ATC system also includes defined daily doses (DDDs) for many drugs. This is a measurement of drug consumption based on the usual daily dose for a given drug. According to the definition, "[t]he DDD is the assumed average maintenance dose per day for a drug used for its main indication in adults."[5]

Defined daily dose

Some codes are used exclusively for veterinary drugs, such as QI Immunologicals, QJ51 Antibacterials for intramammary use or QN05AX90 amperozide.[4]

The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System for veterinary medicinal products (ATCvet) is used to classify veterinary drugs. ATCvet codes can be created by placing the letter Q in front of the ATC code of most human medications. For example, furosemide for veterinary use has the code QC03CA01.


Example: C03CA01 Furosemide

The fifth level of the code indicates the chemical substance and consists of two digits.

Fifth level

Example: C03CA Sulfonamides

The fourth level of the code indicates the chemical/therapeutic/pharmacological subgroup and consists of one letter.

Fourth level

Example: C03C High-ceiling diuretics

The third level of the code indicates the therapeutic/pharmacological subgroup and consists of one letter.

Third level

Example: C03 Diuretics

The second level of the code indicates the therapeutic main group and consists of two digits.

Second level

Example: C Cardiovascular system

Code Contents
A Alimentary tract and metabolism
B Blood and blood forming organs
C Cardiovascular system
D Dermatologicals
G Genito-urinary system and sex hormones
H Systemic hormonal preparations, excluding sex hormones and insulins
J Antiinfectives for systemic use
L Antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents
M Musculo-skeletal system
N Nervous system
P Antiparasitic products, insecticides and repellents
R Respiratory system
S Sensory organs
V Various

The first level of the code indicates the anatomical main group and consists of one letter. There are 14 main groups:[3]

First level

In this system, drugs are classified into groups at 5 different levels:[2]



  • Classification 1
    • First level 1.1
    • Second level 1.2
    • Third level 1.3
    • Fourth level 1.4
    • Fifth level 1.5
    • ATCvet 1.6
  • Defined daily dose 2
  • Purpose 3
  • National adaptations 4
  • Updates to ATC 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

This therapeutic and chemical characteristics. Each bottom-level ATC code stands for a pharmaceutically used substance, or a combination of substances, in a single indication (or use). This means that one drug can have more than one code: acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), for example, has A01 as a drug for local oral treatment, B01 as a platelet inhibitor, and N02 as an analgesic and antipyretic. On the other hand, several different brands share the same code if they have the same active substance and indications.


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