Why Medicines Have Crazy Names or Weird Names – The human body is prone to fall sick and face several diseases every now and then. People need medicines to treat diseases and illnesses. But have you ever thought about why medicines have crazy names or weird names?  In this blog by Medlock Healthcare, we will inform you that why medicines have such crazy names. Nowadays, the most critical job of the pharma companies is to name medicine or drug and this process has become more critical now as it used to be earlier. There are thousands of drugs and medicines in the market and the biggest reason why the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) rejects the name of these drugs and medicine is that the FDA does not want the name of medicines or drugs to be too familiar to each other when the prescriptions are filled.Why Medicines Have Crazy Names or Weird Names

The naming process of medicines or drugs is a very complex and critical process. According to the pharma experts, naming a medicine or drug can be a stressful, laborious, and long activity that starts way before the medicine or drug is granted or approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The situation is different in other industries where a company decides a name for any good and whenever the trademark gets available, firms can start utilizing that name for that good. But the situation is completely different in the pharma industry as the name of the drug or medicine has to be considered safe and carefully and reviewed before that drug or medicine is approved to be used on the product. Moreover, the biggest reason that why medicines or drugs got such crazy or weird names is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not want the medicine or drug names to sound familiar with each other. They do this to avoid any hazardous situation as if the name of the drugs or medicines are similar, medicines will confuse with each other and this can lead to many serious medical issues, concerns, or even death.

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 Why Medicines Have Crazy Names or Weird Names?

Well, the first step in deciding a name for any medicine or drug is to select a generic name for that drug. Under the generic name process method, firms establish a set standard and generic method to make sure that the medicine or drug name is the same everywhere. The importance of having generic name method increases as nowadays people frequently travel around the world, they travel from one country to another country frequently and there are chances that in other countries, the same drug or medicine might be famous or known by any other name and people will face difficulty in identifying the same drugs. There are two organizations that approve the generic names of the medicines or drugs. The first one is the WHO (World Health Organization) and the second one is USAN (United States Adopted Names). These two organizations make sure that all the drugs or medicines get approved names and customers can identify drugs or medicines safely.

Generic names provide some crucial and critical information to the healthcare professionals, chemists or doctors regarding how the drug or medicine will work or how it will react in the human body. While setting the name of the medicine or a drug, few rules may apply. These are:

  • The name of a medicine or a drug must avoid eliciting any sensitivity or cultural confusion around the world.
  • People can easily memorize or learn the medicine or drug name
  • The name of the drug or a Medicine must be a bit easy for the chemists or doctors to spell
  • You must avoid characters like Y, H, K, J, and W. The reason behind avoiding these characters is that around the world, these letters are not included in many languages. Roman alphabets are used to design the generic name of a medicine or drug.
  • Generate a name that can be communicated easily globally.
  • You should avoid using the company’s name with the medicine or drug name and this name can’t be considered for marketing.
  • Never use terms like new, fastest, best, or strongest.
  • Avoid any sort of mechanical terminology as a medicine or a drug is designed to treat a particular disease but sometimes the same drug or medicine can be useful in the treatment of other diseases as well.

Once the company collects somewhere between 5 to 6 names for a drug, they submit those names to the USAN Council. Now the USAN council is formulated by three bodies. The first one is APA (American Pharmacist Association), the second one is AMA (American Medical Association and the third one is USP (United States Pharmacopeia. It is a positive point if the names submitted by you get accepted by USAN. But in case if the name gets rejected, then USAN itself suggests a name that Medlock Healthcare can decide to accept.


When a name is accepted by the USAN Council, then this council submits that selected name on behalf of Medlock Healthcare to WHO (World Health Organization). Here a committee reviews the selected name and decides whether to accept it or give a new name to the drug or medicines. If WHO also accepts the prescribed name then it is further published on a proposed INN list and Medlock Healthcare can start referring to the drug or medicine by the nonproprietary name.