Most Misspelt Medical Names

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The most commonly misspelt medical names


It’s a well-known fact that medical terms and medications have complicated names that can be difficult to spell or pronounce.


Even household names such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can cause confusion when stocking up our medicine cabinets.


Alongside complicated spellings, a doctor’s handwriting can sometimes make it impossible to understand exactly what you’re being prescribed.


So, how important is it to understand how to spell your medications correctly?


We analysed internal searches to identify which medications people were struggling to spell the most – you may be surprised by the results.



Chart showing most misspelt medical names

The two most misspelt medical terms ‘codiene’ and ‘codine’ are for the same medication Codeine.


Codeine is a high strength pain relief used to treat people after operations or an injury – with a whopping 74,000 average Google searches a month, it is clearly an in-demand medication.


Coming in at third is a brand name, unlike the other four most misspelt medical names in our top five.


Canesten, an intimate health care brand, offers a variety of treatments for yeast infections.


Their antifungal medications use effective ingredients like Fluconazole and Clotrimazole, which are used for vaginal thrush among other things.


Canesten also offers products such as Hydrocortisone cream, used to treat skin swelling, itching and irritation.


Unsurprisingly, Paracetamol and Ibuprofen appeared in our top five, with nearly 5% of the total number of searches for Ibruprofen being the wrong spelling.


The average Google searches for Paracetamol and Ibuprofen come in at 74,000 and 110,000 showing the demand for these medications.


The medical name people are also struggling to spell is another brand name; Steradent.


Steradent is a denture cleaning solution consisting of sodium bicarbonate amongst other active ingredients.


Incorrect spellings of this name being ‘Sterandent’ were above 70 while the correct spelling didn’t reach 20, a 73% difference.


Other medical terms where the misspelt name was searched for more than the correct term were Senasof, incorrectly spelt as ‘Senasoft’, and Strepsils, incorrectly spelt as ‘Stepsils’.


Interestingly, from this analysis, it is clear that the medical terms people find harder to spell are more often than not brand names.


The highest searched for medications on Google were Ibuprofen and Diazepam.


Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory most people are familiar with, used to reduce aches and pains, while Diazepam is a member of the Benzodiazepine family used to treat a range of conditions from anxiety to insomnia.


The main difference between these two medications is that Diazepam is only available on prescription whereas Ibuprofen is an over the counter medication readily available to the UK public.


How important is it to spell your medications correctly?


Being prescribed the wrong medication can lead to dangerous consequences, causing your illness to get worse or even give you a severe reaction, therefore it is extremely important to ensure you are getting the right medication.


There are many ways that this can be avoided, such as visiting a local pharmacy or using online resources such as Ask-a-Pharmacist.


Internal search data from over the last 30 days were analysed. This data was then compared to Google search volume analysing a monthly average based on the search volumes from the previous 12 months. Data pulled 08/12/21.

Chemist4U - Site News
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 15 March 2023
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