The Multiplicious Identities of Drugs

Cracked Science

Imagine you are suffering from a form of leukemia and require treatment. Your doctor offers you a choice between the following drugs:

1. Ambochlorin
2. 4-[bis(2-chlorethyl)amino]benzenebutanoic acid
3. Leukeran
4. Chlorambucil

Knowing nothing about their respective side effects, efficacies, modes of delivery, or costs (some may be covered by the government, some by private insurances, some not at all), which one would you, as a patient, be tempted by? Which of these drugs sounds the most appropriate?

Some might be tempted by number 2, with its long chemical name, which sounds scientific and maybe a bit old-fashioned. Such a traditional name might inspire comfort; then again, it may make you think the drug is out-dated. Others might be tempted by number 3, since it has the “leuk-“ prefix of “leukemia”. Which drug is best?

Well, I cheated. They are all the same.

Anyone who has stood in front of a…

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