Special Sub-Topic: Find the Pharmaceutical Fakes
|I made up three of the following drug names, but one is real. Which of these actually is an antibiotic?|
Ertapenem. Carbapenem antibiotics like ertapenem and meropenem belong to the beta lactams, a larger group of antibiotics that includes pencillin and its relatives, among others.
|Which of these drugs is NOT a real member of the phenothiazine family?|
Chlorphenazine. Drugs in the phenothiazine class can sedate, act as antipsychotic agents, prevent or relieve nausea or vomiting, and even control hiccups. Promethazine, often used as an antiemetic agent, is also a member of this class.
|Which of these is NOT a real local anesthetic?|
Trilocaine. Prilocaine really exists (sometimes seen in combination with lidocaine to make Emla cream), but trilocaine is imaginary.
Believe it or not, cocaine really is a local anesthetic. It just happens to be a well-known stimulant as well.
Bupivacaine (Marcaine or Sensorcaine) is another widely used topical anesthetic-your dentist probably uses it instead of the somewhat outmoded procaine (Novocain).
|Meth-, methyl-, and metho- are common affixes for many drug names, but which of these is a fictitious drug?|
Methyltriazolam. Triazolam is a real drug (it's a benzodiazepine used to induce sleep), but so far no one has seen reason or been able to attach a "methyl-" to the front of it and market the result as a drug.
Consider also these meth- drugs: methylprednisolone, methadone, methylergonovine, and numerous others.
|Three of these drugs are legitimate, one is fictional. Which one is the fictional drug?|
Nitaxipine. Health care providers and pharmacy workers should exercise caution to avoid confusion when ordering, administering, and dispensing these look-alike/sound-alike medications. Nimodipine may be given to patients recovering from stroke. Nicardipine is prescribed for various heart conditions, including high blood pressure. Nifedipine is also used to treat high blood pressure, but it has some interesting applications in obstetrics as well. In general, drugs that start with ni- and end with -ipine belong to the class of medications called calcium channel blockers. Nisoldipine is yet another example.
|Three of these prescription medications will help you go to sleep, but one does not exist. Which of these is the phony drug?|
Zannitol. The so-called "Z drugs" will make you "catch some Zs." Zopiclone is prescribed in some countries, but not in the United States. However, a closely related molecule, eszopiclone (brand name Lunesta), is available and well-known. Zaleplon and zolpidem are marketed as Sonata and Ambien, respectively.
I replaced the "m" in the drug mannitol with a "z" to make zannitol. Mannitol is an intravenously administered osmotic diuretic.
|Which of the following is NOT an actual drug brand/trade name?|
Promax. Primaxin = real, Flomax = real, but Promax = not real. Atarax, Librax, and Serax are the trade names for hydroxyzine hydrochloride, chlordiazapoxide with clidinium bromide, and oxazepam, respectively. For some reason, the -rax suffix is often associated with drugs that have a calming or sedative effect.
|Which of these is NOT a real fentanyl analog?|
Flufentanyl. Flu- is a common drug name prefix-flumazenil, fludrocortisone, fluticasone, and fluconazole are just few examples-but it's not used in combination with fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a relative of morphine, exhibiting analgesic and anesthetic properties. Several of its analogs (close chemical relatives) have various applications in medicine.
|Which of these words is NOT an actual drug brand/trade name?|
Mentok. The three correct drug names given are trade names: Mobic = meloxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Multaq = dronedarone, a cardiac antiarrhythmic agent. Mavik = trandolapril, a cardiac drug in the ACE inhibitor family.
Mentok, the Mind Taker, is the over-the-top, eccentric courtroom judge from the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim series "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law."
|Many antibiotic names end with a -mycin suffix. Three of these are legitimate, but one is phony. Which one?|
Dicyclomycin. Dicyclomine (Bentyl) reduces the smooth muscle spasms suffered by irritable bowel syndrome patients, but dicyclomycin doesn't exist.
A few more similarly named antibiotics: clindamycin, tobramycin, and gentamicin (note the spelling variation on that last one).
Some people have a tendency to slip an extra syllable into these words when speaking them aloud: "clind-a-my-a-cin" or "vanc-o-my-a-cin," for example, but these words are not spelled with an "a" between the "y" and the "c." This may just be phonetically unavoidable, more pronounced in some speakers than others.
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