by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
As prescription drugs proliferate, so do their weird and seemingly unpronounceable names. New drug brand names are bad enough, but some of the newer generic drug names are real enigmas to pronounce.
For example, how do you pronounce drug names such as “Abciximab” or “Ixabepilone” or “Pioglitazone” or “Zafirlukast”? Is “Abciximab” pronounced as “aye-bee-cee-icks-mab” or what?
If you have a hearing loss, your chances of correctly hearing these names being pronounced by anyone is almost nil. That’s the bad news.
Now for the good news. You don’t have to try to come up with your own pronunciations and embarrass yourself in the process.
For your convenience (mine too), I have put up a web page that shows the proper pronunciations of more than 700 generic prescription drug names.
You can access it on the Center for Hearing Loss Help’s website, then click on the third link down the left side: “Generic Drug Pronunciation Guide”.
In case you are interested, you pronounce “Abciximab” as “ab-SIX-ih-mab”. “Ixabepilone” is pronounced “ex-ah-BEH-pill-own”. “Pioglitazone” comes out as “pie-oh-GLIT-ah-zohn” and “Zafirlukast” as “zah-FLUR-luh-kast”.
This pronunciation guide is largely based on pronunciations given in the 2010 Nursing Drug Handbook.