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Unfortunate drug name of the day: Dysport

Unfortunate drug name of the day: Dysport published on No Comments on Unfortunate drug name of the day: Dysport

I don’t know what the pharmaceutical marketing teams are thinking when they come up with drug names like Dysport, which is an injectible drug used to treat spasticity in arms, hands, and fingers. It’s also used to temporarily remove frown lines. [Botulism toxin is everywhere these days! I really wish botulism-based drugs were covered by more insurance companies as antispasmodics.]


Dysport, like its cousin Botox, is yet another example of a great drug with a wretched name. Honestly, who thought it was a good idea to give Dysport a first syllable, dys-, that connotes something problematic or difficult, as in dysfunction [poor function], dystopia [bad imaginary future], and dysphoria [unhappy feelings]? This makes Dysport sound like either a bad port or a bad sport. Maybe they were going for homonymy with the rather outmoded verb disport [to frolic], but, since the negative connotations of the dys- prefix seem to have utterly escaped them, I really doubt that anyone on the naming committee knew about disport.

As a bonus, here is a slightly less unfortunate drug name: Gleevic. Gleevic is an extra super expensive drug used against various types of cancer, particularly chronic myeloginous leukemia. It’s an improvement over Dysport in that it has more positive connotations [hell, it starts with¬†glee!].¬†However, it’s not a complete success, as it still sounds like the noise that a frog makes when you step on it.

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