Where Do Drug Names Come From?

Let’s be honest, sometimes the drug names that you see on prescriptions can be bamboozling. It’s tempting to think that some pharmaceutical companies, such as those who come up with drug names like ‘RimabotulinumtoxinB’, simply look at the chemical in their possession and think ‘right, let’s make sure this one is as difficult as possible for everybody to pronounce.’ Why is it that some drugs, such as aspirin, are blessed with simple, easy-to-pronounce names, whereas your average decongestant contains the intimidating-sounding pseudoephedrine? Wouldn’t it be easier to just assign every drug a number? The whole issue is compounded by the fact that, as well as having chemical names (also known as ‘generic’ names), many drugs also have brand names. Let’s take a look at where do drug names come from

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Generic drug names

First, let’s look at how drugs are given their chemical names. There are over 120 drugs and medical Plant-Websubstances currently used that are derived from plants. As a consequence, many of these drugs have names that in some way relate to the plants they originate from. Digitoxin (trade name digibind) is a drug indicated to treat atrial fibrillation and is synthesised using substances extracted from the plant ‘Digitalis purpurea’ (more commonly known as a ‘foxglove’). In fact, we can even dig deeper and look into the plant name itself- ‘Digitalis’ comes from the Latin word for finger (digitus), which refers to the flower shape. Purpura refers to the flower colour, which is often purple. It now becomes clearer to see that ‘Digitoxin’ is not just an arbitrary name that sounds more like a Pokemon than a drug, but rather has its origins in the plant it comes from. The plant names, in turn, are often based on Latin or Greek vocabulary.

Paracetamol is one of the most popular drugs in the world and is commonly available to buy off shelves in many high-street retailers. As well as being a painkiller, paracetamol has anti-pyretic properties, meaning it can reduce high body temperatures caused by fever. It actually happened to be discovered by accident when a similar molecule, called acetazolamide, was given to patients over 100 years ago and seen to have analgesic effects. Upon refining the structure of acetanilide, the compound N-acetyl-para-aminophenol was discovered. Admittedly, that name is awfully complex. This is because it is based on the chemical groups that make up the structure of the compound but just look at it once more. Para-acetyl-amino-phenol. From this, it becomes apparent that the name ‘Paracetamol’ is basically a shorter, more marketable version of the full chemical name.

 

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Viagra & Generic Sildenafil

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Product Description

How does Viagra and Sildenafil work?

Viagra (Sildenafil) helps men to get and maintain an erection when sexually stimulated and/or excited. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels in the penis which results in more blood flowing to the penis when you are sexually excited.

How do I take it?

You should take Viagra (Sildenafil) approximately 1 hour before planning to have intercourse. Within a window of between 30 minutes and 4 hours after you take the medicine, it will be easier to keep and maintain an erection when you are sexually excited. If you take this medicine after a meal with a high fat content it may take a little longer to start working. This medicine will only work when you are sexually excited. You won’t get an erection just by taking Viagra (Sildenafil).

Dosage

The standard recommended dose for Viagra (Sildenafil) is 50mg and this will be suitable for most people.  If this dose is not effective, you can try 100mg and if 50mg gives you side effects you can also reduce the dose to 25mg tablets.

You must not take more than 100mg daily of Sildenafil/ Viagra. Clinical trials have been conducted in patients taking up to 200mg sildenafil and it was found that ‘doses of 200mg did not result in increased efficacy but did increase the incidence of adverse reactions (headache, flushing, dizziness, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, and altered vision).’

In addition, in patients taking more than 100mg daily, there have been reports of rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown in skeletal muscle tissue the byproducts of which can lead to kidney failure), visual perception changes, vertebral artery dissection (a tear in the artery supplying blood to the brain), heart attacks and aggressive behaviour.

If the 100mg strength doesn’t work for you, there may be alternatives you can try and we recommend that you call us for a free consultation with our pharmacist or doctor to discuss any underlying conditions you may have. We recommend that all men taking medicine for erectile dysfunction have regular tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and hormone imbalances. For instance, it may be that by fixing a hormone imbalance such as testosterone, your Viagra medication will be even more effective.

In addition, drug manufacturers do not advise patients to split tablets in half to get the correct dosage as they cannot guarantee that the active ingredient will be distributed evenly throughout the tablet.  For instance, if you cut a 100mg tablet in two, you may find that you get 80mg in one half of the tablet and 20mg in the other half leading to either an overdose (increased risk of side effects) or a suboptimal dose (the medication may not work).

It is important that you choose the correct dose for you. If you wish to talk to our pharmacist or doctor about this, please contact us in the pharmacy on 01625 460621 or email [email protected]

Side Effects

Viagra (Sildenafil) is normally well tolerated, however, side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Side effects normally subside after a few hours, however, if you experience a prolonged or painful erection (longer than 4 hours), then you must contact your doctor immediately.

Drug interactions

There are a number of medicines which interact with Sildenafil/ Viagra. For an exhaustive list please see the patient information leaflet (see section below) or call us in the pharmacy to discuss your specific situation. The main drug interactions are listed here:

Recreational drugs such as ‘poppers’ or amyl nitrate
Alpha blockers used for urinary retention or blood pressure problems (eg Flomax or Cardura)
Anti- arrhythmic drugs such as disopyramide
Antibiotics such as erythromycin
Antifungals such as itraconazole
Antivirals such as drugs used to treat HIV
Bosentan
Cobicistat
Calcium channel blockers to treat blood pressure and angina such as amlodipine
Dapoxetine (Priligy – used to treat premature ejaculation)
Grapefruit juice**
Nicorandil
Nitrates
Riociguat
Cimetidine (to treat stomach ulcers)

Please do not take Sildenafil/Viagra if you have taken any of the above drugs within the last 60 days without first consulting with either us in the Pharmacy ([email protected] / 01625 460621) or via email with our doctor [email protected]

**We advise not to take Sildenafil/Viagra with grapefruit juice as the blood concentration of Sildenafil will possibly be increased resulting in side effects.

Patient Information Leaflets

Please click here for the patient information leaflet for Viagra.

For Actavis Sildenafil please see the following leaflets: 100mg, 50mg, 25mg.

Storing Medicines Safely

Please keep your medicine out of the reach of children and store at room temperature.  Unwanted medicine can be disposed of by returning it to any local pharmacy or indeed to us here for us to dispose of it for you.

51 reviews for Viagra & Generic Sildenafil

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  5. Doug
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    Doug:

    Only used one as yet did the same as viagra, At last value for money

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    I will order from here in the future, discreet, friendly service and the cheapest on the internet. Also gave me a discount which I can use in the future when ever I want which I will and I’m happy about.

  7. David
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Branded Drug Names

Now we have looked at where medicines get their generic names, we can turn our attention to branded drug names. As aforementioned, Viagra is an example of a branded medication that has dominated the shelves of high street pharmacies for years. Manufactured by pharmaceutical giants Pfizer, Viagra has been a mainstay treatment for male impotence since its release in 1998. Pfizer has actually kept their reasoning behind the name relatively quiet, but it is widely speculated that the ‘Vi’ aspect of the name comes from ‘Vitality’, ‘Virility’ or ‘Vigour’.

Protocol-WebThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has thorough protocols in place to minimise errors attributed to unclear drug naming. The Center of Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) is a branch of the FDA that is responsible for evaluating the potential for a drugs brand name to cause medication errors. Between the years 2000-2009, the CDER received 126,000 medication error reports. Many of these appeared to be due to the similar sounds of some drug names. It is estimated to cost a company around $3 million to have a drug name approved by the FDA, demonstrating just how complex the process is.

The CDER firstly undertakes a promotional review of the proposed drug name. This is done to ensure the name is not misleading in any way. If a drug name overstates the effectiveness of the product itself, it is likely to fail at this stage of the drug naming process. Subsequently, a drug name must then pass the safety review stage. Approaches that involve generating lists of similar, potentially interchangeable names to the drug in question are used to evaluate the likelihood of confusion. Recently, the FDA demanded that the brand name of the antidepressant drug Bintellix was changed, on the grounds that it sounded too similar to the antiplatelet drug Belinda. As a result, the name Bintellix was changed to Trintellix. This shows that no drug name is immune to being changed if it is thought to increase the risk of dispensing errors, even if it the drug itself is already on the market.

The vast amount of regulation that applies to drug naming is indicative of the FDA’s intent on minimising dispensing errors and ensuring patient safety is prioritised ahead of marketing. In line with these principles, it is important that customers purchase their products from regulated, trustworthy UK pharmacies. Here at Assured Pharmacy, all of the medicines we sell are FDA-approved. Upon completion of an online questionnaire, a GMC regulated doctor will issue a prescription that allows you to acquire prescription-only drugs in an efficient, safe and regulated manner. This prescription is then checked by a qualified pharmacist to ensure the treatment is suitable. We offer products that cover a wide range of medical issues, including premature ejaculation, women’s health and hair loss. If you would like to find out more information about the products we offer, or would simply like to speak to someone in confidence, please call 01625460621 or e-mail [email protected].

 

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References

  1. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/digitalis-purpurea-common-foxglove
  2. http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/rzepa/mim/drugs/html/paracet_text.htm
  3. https://www.drugs.com/slideshow/the-rise-to-fame-viagra-and-erectile-dysfunction-1043
  4. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/MedicationErrors/ucm080867.pdf http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm497942.htm
  5. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/MedicationErrors/ucm080867.pdf
  6. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm497942.htm

 

Assured Pharmacy is not liable for the currency or accuracy of the information contained in this blog post. For specific information about your personal medical condition, please contact our doctors or pharmacists for advice on [email protected].