Has anyone else noticed the following correlation?

The more narcotics that a patient has received in a given month, the less likely that a patient is to be able to pronounce the names of those medications.

For example, a patient with chronic abdominal pain and multiple negative workups came into the emergency department for a recurrence of her pain. She had a rather lengthy printout from the state controlled substances database as well. The patinet wanted the same medications that made her feel better the last time she was in the emergency department earlier in the week.

“What medication did you receive?”
“Ummm. Let’s see. Toradol, Compazine, Zofran, and some other medication that started with a ‘D’. Deh … Deh … Deh …”
“You mean Detrol?”
“No. Deh … Deh … It ended in “ol.”
“I bet it was Detrol.”
“No. Dem … Demmm … Deh …”
“I know! Droperidol!”
“NO! Dem! Dem-something … Demitol?”
“OH! Donnatal!”
“That sounds like it is what would work. We’ll try some Donnatal.”
“Demerol! That’s it! Demerol!”

I walked out of the room and the nurse informed me that the patient had received 100mg of Demerol IV during her last visit.

“Let’s try 10 of Donnatal this visit.”

A couple of minutes later, the nurse came back to the desk.
“She refused. She wants Demerol.”
“Ain’t happening. Maybe you could interest her in some Tylenol … Number Three?”




  1. “Tylenol… Number Three.” I am picturing a youtube video of the placebo effect of this wonder drug set to the tune of “Mambo Number Five.”

  2. You can always give her Dolobid, pronouncing it (duhLAWbid)……oh sorry, that’s for that other drug that starts with “d”

  3. And this is precisely why when, every year or two when I develop an icepick headache that persists for six days straight and I end up in the ED, that I explicitly say, “PLEASE give me a toradol/benadryl cocktail (minus the akathisia-inducing compazine) with absolutely NO narcotics! Hard enough to survive migraines and icepick headaches without having to dodge suspicions of drug seeking!

    • Some years ago after a second ureteral stent was removed by first urologist …he sent me home with a script for Toradol instead of Percocet. Let me tell you …the kidney spasms were so bad that
      toradol didn’t cover it and when I called doc back ..he told me to just lie on that side. It helped a bit but was the day from hell. I don’t remember now why I took more toradol than I should have …other than obviously the horrendous pain …but for some reason I thought it was okay. Maybe because it wasn’t a narcotic I assumed I could …like when you can take more Ibuprofen then 400mg. I think I thought because it was an NSAID it was ok. I DO follow med directions carefully and always check with docs or pharmacist. I thought the way I took it was alright. I was getting ready for work the next morning and because I was still aching ..just not horrendously, I asked the pharmacist about continuing the dosage. He got alarmed and said I should NOT have taken it that way because it could DAMAGE the kidneys. (Until the previous comment, I had forgotten about that) He SCARED me. So ..I ended up throwing it out because I did not ever want to take it again and took 600mg of Ibuprofen instead.

      They’ve given it at the hospital to counter a D …D ..Dil.. ..Dil…l-a-u- ….did headache though. 😉

  4. Damnitol!

    You’re so funny WC! 🙂

    I know ..not a drug ..just came to mind. 🙂

    Geritol …capitol …alco ..alco.. hick..up! alcohol! ..da …da…dat’s all folks!

    Okay and so I’m getting punchy and will have bloggers remorse over this in a.m. Your post inspired this.

  5. I love it when people start doing that.

    Di-di-di.. Oh Diphenhydramine? Oh, that’s one of the active ingredients in Percogesic…I can ask the doc for that!!!

  6. I call it “Circling the Name”….
    Usually it’s ” V..something…Vicosomething…..”
    and I just think ” Wait for it…wait for it…”
    while I say “Vytorin?”. They always eventually remember it.

  7. I love this post – that is our favorite joke around the nurses station – don’t forget the nausea – I am allergic to zofran and reglan and can only take phenergan IV – at the same schedule as my diluadid….please (wait answering their cell phone) I hurt 10/10!!!

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