Jun 29, 2011

The Crocin Headache

Crocin is a very common medicine that would surely find a place in the medicine box and travel kits of most Indian middle+ class families. It is available in almost all medical shops and in many stationary stores even, without any physician's prescription. I had studied in my UG that it is the brand name for paracetomol, which is a common name for N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethanamide, or N-acetyl-4-aminophenol. The latter name is the reason why it is sold over-the-counter in US pharmacies under the name 'Tylenol'. I was under the impression that 'crocin' signifies nothing other than the above chemical.

Until today. I learnt that there is actually a chemical called 'crocin' and it is what gives the orange color to 'saffron' (குங்குமப்பூ or kungumappoo). Its wiki entry is here. It is a 'carotenoid', meaning it is structurally similar to the chemical that gives orange color to carrot, viz., beta-carotene. It also has some medicinal properties, which are very different to those of the paracetemol drug. The chemical structure of the two drugs are (left-paracetemol; right-crocin):


Usually there is a sense to the way drugs are named. But, IMHO, it is a blatant mistake to sell one chemical with the same name of another known chemical. Those who consume saffron regularly, try telling ur mom or someone who cares for you that you are nowadays taking crocin twice a week, without making them to freak out.

6 comments:

VM said...

Unless one is Reid (Criminal Minds) or characters in Big Bang Theories, I don't see why they should use the term crocin with loved ones.

Me too said...

Oh, what a sin!! Crocin or for that matter all medicines give me a yucky feeling reminding me of those childhood sick days when parents would force a half broken tablet and water into my mouth! Whereas my children love their tylenol/motrin syrups(now available as chewables too!) which are sweetened and flavoured!!

ram said...

Very interesting, point noted..

armouris said...

more info on headache here - Types of Headaches

Raju said...

VM, LOL.. I am far off from Reid, Sheldon or Leonard. But sometimes I do use technical terms ;)
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Aparna, LOL at ur 'what a sin' remark? Ennai vachu kamedy keemedy pannaliye?
Abt syrubs & chewables, good to know. Quite a bit of research goes into finding out best drug delivery methods. Instead of sticking to the old thot of 'a good medicine has to be consumed even if it is bitter', the drug companies are getting consumer-friendlier, esp for the little ones. :)
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Ram, okay :) So, visiting india next week-a? Saw ur count-down in gchat.
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Armouris, thanks for the info.

comprar un yate said...

Quite helpful piece of writing, thanks for the post.