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Theme of the Week: Medications with Weird Smells

On a short lighthearted note, this week we’re going to look at medications with unusual smells that patients may notice. Note that this is purely anecdotal, but many would agree with the following list!


1) Metformin: used for diabetes, this medication is well-known to have a fishy smell, especially after being dispensed from a stock bottle without a desiccant.


2) Olmesartan: used for blood pressure, this medication also has a fishy smell.


3) Divalproex: used for seizure disorders, this medication has a lovely chocolate/cotton candy smell, which many patients do like.


4) Spironolactone: used for heart failure, this medication has a distinct mint smell.


5) Cephalexin: used for skin infections, this antibiotic has an unusual smell, which patients may describe as a diaper or bad grapefruit.


6) Diltiazem: used for blood pressure, this medication features a heavy plastic smell in their capsules.


Are there any other distinct smelling medications? Let us know in the comments!






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