Chemist4U analysed the keywords searched by its customers on its website to identify which medical words people were struggling to spell the most – comparing these to search volume analysis, they were able to uncover the most commonly misspelled medicine words. View the full story here.
It’s well known that medical terms and medications can have complicated names. Not only can common medicines such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen confuse, but even everyday items such as deodorant can have you second-guessing your spelling.
Some mistakes are so common most of us may not even know they’re being spelt wrong, with some medical names being spelt wrong more times than they’re spelt right.
The top ten most misspelled medical names ranked by the total misspelled searches:
% of searches of correct spelling
% of searches of incorrect spelling
Codeine was the most misspelled medical term based on what Chemist4U’s customers were searching for – most commonly misspelled as ‘codiene’ and ‘codine’. It 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 an in-demand medication.
Apart from Chlamydia, nine out of ten of the misspelled medical names were only misspelled by one or two letters. Nearly 5% of searches for Ibruprofen were spelt with an added ‘r’, while one in six searches for Aspirin was missing the first ‘i’.
Out of the top ten, Chlamydia was the only medical term misspelled by more than two letters, with more than two in every five searches (44%) being spelt as ‘clomid’. With 74,000 monthly searches for sexually transmitted infections, it’s surprising to learn how often it is misspelled.
The medical terms people find harder to spell are brand names. Unlike the other four most misspelled names in the top five, the third most commonly misspelled medical term is a brand name. Canesten is an intimate health brand that offers a variety of thrush treatments, as well as products such as Hydrocortisone cream used to treat skin swelling, itching and irritation, and is most commonly misspelled ‘canestan’.
The other medical brand name people are struggling to spell is Steradent, ranking sixth. It is a denture cleaning solution consisting of sodium bicarbonate among other active ingredients. Incorrect spellings of this name being ‘sterandent’ were searched for more than the correct spelling, with almost four in five (79%) searches being of the wrong spelling.
Other brand names where the misspelled 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.
James O’Loan, pharmacist and CEO at Chemist4U comments: ‘It’s no surprise that a lot of medical names, whether more commonly-used medications such as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol and Nurofen or more obscure brand names such as Senasof, can be misspelled. The majority of terms used in medicine can be complicated to pronounce, let alone spell – alongside doctors’ handwriting is notoriously difficult to read, it’s no wonder the nation is struggling to spell a wide range of medical terms.
‘Despite the majority only being misspelled by one or two letters, there are a few instances where the word is misspelled to the point it may not be recognised. This can become dangerous when purchasing the wrong medication, which could cause your illness to get worst or even give you a severe reaction.’
‘Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure you’re searching for the right terms and receiving the correct treatment. At Chemist4U, we have the best system in place to help correct users mid-spelling as part of our determination to help those in need of medication in any way we can.’