A drug by any other name

While collecting a bunch of meds at the pharmacy on Saturday, I noticed a package lying on the counter with the extremely alluring name, ‘Euphorbium’.

I might have guessed from its name that Euphorbium would be a homeopathic preparation, packed full of essence of Egyptian Goose and a soupçon of snail shell.

Despite my distrust of homeopathy in general, I think taking something called Euphorbium would greatly improve my disposition. In fact, I think that despite it being indicated for rhinitis, Euphorbium would improve just about all of my ailments, once and for all proving the existence of the placebo effect. Conclusively.

Taking Euphorbium would lead to less dissatisfaction with the dirty dishes in my sink, the broken air conditioning compressor in my car which is going to cost R4000 to replace, the expired passport squatting in my drawer, and manageable hatred of shrieking children.

This got me thinking that if various medications were named a bit more creatively, conveying the essence of their action in their name, reluctant patients might be more inclined to stick to a strict regimen, leading to fewer complications that result from non-adherence.

I thus propose a few names which describe the drug’s action more…pointedly, perhaps (and yes, and I realise these names sound like Chinglish):

  • Reliefomax: a mild laxative to relieve those days/weeks/months spent eating bread, muffins, matzah, kneidlach.
  • Upliftomide: antidepressant, anxiolitic, all-around feel-good pill
  • Keepitine: stops nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Happyheadomine: gets rid of headaches
  • Stoprot: antibiotic or antibiotic cream or powder
  • Stinkgo: prescription-strength breath freshener

On reflection, I suspect people might prefer shouting, “I want a box of 4000 condoms and a giant tube of lube,” while in a queue with their boss, their standard four English teacher and their mom’s best friend, instead of having to ask for Stinkgo.

Ah well, I’m not bovvered. I’m taking Euphorbium and everything is juuuuuust fine…

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4 Responses to A drug by any other name

  1. Charmskool says:

    In my opinion Euphorbium sounds like an old-fashioned musical instrument. Assuming it is portable, you could take it with you to Home Affairs when you go and queue for hours to arrange your new passport and play it, while singing softly to yourself, to help pass the long hours you will be waiting to arrange said document – this may also soothe your soul (and those of the other waiting passport/ID document seekers). If you place a suitable receptacle at your feet while doing this you may well collect a sizeable sum towards the repair of your car’s aircon.

  2. Don't Believe a Word I Write says:

    Charm, you do have the most winning ideas. But do you think I’d be able to play the Euphorbium well enough to get people to toss me coins? Ahhhh, I see where you’re going with this…they’d pay me to shut up. Nothing drives people to part with cash in order to ease the pain more readily than an afternoon at Home Affairs. Good thinkin’!

    I suspect a Euphorbium looks a little like a concertina…am I right?

  3. Tamara says:

    Happyheadomine is a lot better as a name than Grandpa. What, I wonder, was the logic behind picking that name? I dunno if I want to find out.

  4. Don't Believe a Word I Write says:

    The logic behind Grandpa? Yeah, most grandpas I’ve ever known *cause* headaches, rather than relieve them.

    I’ll be selling Happyheadomine at the corner of your street, Tamara. Look out for me…I’ll be wearing your traditional skelm trench coat and a jester hat.

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