12 Difficult-to-Pronounce Drug Names

FEBRUARY 21, 2016
Patients often struggle with pronouncing both generic and brand-name medications, but they’re not alone.
With thousands of FDA-approved medications on the market, it can be difficult for pharmacists to stay up-to-date on drug name pronunciations.
Here is a list of medications with names that may require some practice.
1. Talimogene Laherparepvec
In October 2015, talimogene laherparepvec () became the first FDA-approved oncolytic virus therapy indicated for the treatment of melanoma lesions in the skin and lymph nodes. It is injected directly into the melanoma lesions, where it replicates inside cancer cells and causes them to rupture and die.  
Talimogene laherparepvec (tal IM oh jeen la her pa REP vek)
2. Botulinum Toxins: OnabotulinumtoxinA, AbobotulinumtoxinA, RimabotulinumtoxinB, IncobotulinumtoxinA
Botulinum toxin types A and B can be used for the treatment of upper motor neuron syndrome, focal hyperhidrosis, chronic migraine, blepharospasm, strabismus, and cervical dystonia, among other indications. They are also widely used in cosmetic treatments.
OnabotulinumtoxinA (oh nuh BOT yoo lin num TOKS in aye)
AbobotulinumtoxinA (aye bo BOT yoo lin num TOKS in aye)
RimabotulinumtoxinB (rime uh BOT yoo lin num TOKS in bee)
IncobotulinumtoxinA (in kuh BOT yoo lin num TOKS in aye)
3. Idarucizumab
In October 2015, the FDA approved idarucizumab (Praxbind) for use in patients taking the anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa) during emergency situations where there is a need to reverse the drug’s blood-thinning effects.  
Idarucizumab (eye da roo SIZ uh mab)

Timothy O'Shea, MS, PharmD
Timothy O'Shea, MS, PharmD, is a Clinical Pharmacist working at a regional health insurance plan on the east coast. Additionally he works per diem at a nationwide retail pharmacy chain. He graduated from MCPHS University - Boston in 2015 and subsequently completed a PGY-1 Managed Care Pharmacy Residency. He completed his M.S. in Health Services Administration, with a focus on Health Economics and Outcomes, in 2018. His professional interests include pharmacy legislation and managed care pharmacy. He can be followed on Twitter at @toshea125.