Thursday, September 17, 2009

You made that up

Talking with a friend the other day about our gripes and ailments (as middle-aged ladies start to do) and she says, " they were going to put me on Effexor, and..."

I jumped the track:  "Effexor?  Like Affects Her?  They named a drug that?"

And they colored it pink, which we have all been trained is the new empowerment color for women, because anything that color can actually cure cancer.  Even when it's a vaccum cleaner.

I immediately added Effexor to my list of we-give-up product names, where pharmaceuticals reign supreme.  You'll recall my discovery of Veramyst, the drug that admits in its name they don't know how it works.

#1 on this list is Anusol.
In the Marketing bullpen: "Tommy, you're not getting it.  Listen.  It's a solvent.... for....?"

Remember when Claritin came out and for weeks the commercial never told you what it was for?  Just convinced you that it would make everything sunshiney.  Was it an allergy drug?  An antidepressent?  A trial separation?  Claritin was the first of the "maybe I should ask my doctor" advertisements that lulled us with lists of "rare" side effects that sound the same or worse than the condition we were treating.

Cialus is a good one.  I see Alice, right over there in the adjoining bathtub.  She helped me move them outside.  I could not confirm what "cialis" literally means, but I did discover that its generic name is tadalafil, as if the usual Gang of Idiots at Mad Magazine went to work for Lilly:

"Honey....?" (gestures) "Ta-da!"  (hands on hips) "La FILL!"

tadalafil.  you made that up.

Here's one George Bush named: Abilify.   I bet Bristol-Myers was surprised to find this name hadn't been used already.  Like hurricane forecasters, these poor souls have to slog through lists of brand names for an original idea.  Why this name does everything!  They can sell it later.  It is a schizophrenia drug.

I have always enjoyed the sound of Keflex.  It's a Serbian spy ring.  Or a watch brand.  Actually, the sound of you coughing up whatever is infecting your lungs.  Everyone of these drugs has its own website.  Now that I have visited them all, I expect a more entertaining class of ad on my Facebook home page than "You are fat, single, and should go back to school."

Know what would make me feel better?  A big dose of Boostrix.  This is what she looks like.

There are dozens of drug with "flu" in their name.  Fluzone seems to be a counter-productive choice.  I learned that "influenza" itself is just a made up name for the "influence" of bad humors, in the way that "lunacy" came from moonlight.  And I think you get worms from going barefoot and cooties from eating off your brother's plate.

Antabuse is a name that says it like it is.  Like Anusol, it doesn't try to speak Greek or sound "atomic."  Oh, you want abuse... I'll give you some abuse....

I started not to link to this ad, because it is not a good quality YouTube example - there is some "TRIAL VERSION" branding on it.  But look around it, because this is brilliant.


  1. So now you can add these to your list: metformin, zetia, atacand,levothyroxine (synthroid), detrol (I can't spell or pronounce the generic). Enjoy your research. M

  2. And all this time I thought claritin was a cooking spice. Some lemon juice, 1 tsp of cumin and a dash of claritin makes a light and tasty sauce!

  3. Okay - so I seriously just saw a commercial for "AcipHex." It's a treatment for gas. Really? With a name like "ass-effects" I would never have known! O. M. G.


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