How to Name Your New Drug

The medicines you take generally have three names. There’s the actual chemical, there’s a registered name for the chemical or chemicals that make up the medication, and there’s a slick marketing name.

As a simple example, the slick marketing name for acetaminophen is Tylenol.

Almost all new drug names have three syllables, with the emphasis on the second syllable. They all use the minimum number of letters to achieve this (it’s a competition), and x, q, and z are required. Only a chump would follow a “q” with a “u”. Run the algorithm, and your next prescription will be for Qzyliq. Ask your doctor if it’s right for you.

I have a little writing project going right now and I need a few popular drug names that when you squint, might look like active verbs, in the gerund or past tense. Names that end ‘-in’ (to suggest ‘-ing’), or end ‘-ed’. The more well-known the name of the drug, the better.

Drop a line if you have a suggestion. Thanks!

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1 thought on “How to Name Your New Drug

  1. kinteret’s generic name sounds like a greek goddess: anakinra

    and humira’s sounds like her hell-spawned non-humanoid partner: adalimumab

    unfortunately these are not applicable to your current project, but maybe useful to keep in your back pocket for future drug-related stories

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