The Paralysis Pill From ‘Run’ Is Based on a Real Drug—& Here Are Its Dangerous Side Effects

Run
Photo: Courtesy of Allen Fraser/Hulu.

If you’ve watched Run on Hulu, you may have the same question as us: What is Trigoxin and is it a real drug? Since its premiere on November 20, Run has become Hulu’s most watched original film.

The movie stars Sarah Paulson as Diane, the mother of a teenage daughter named Chloe, who is chronically ill with arrhythmia, hemochromatosis, diabetes and paralysis. Due to her illnesses, Chloe uses a wheelchair and takes a cocktail of pills her mom gives to her each day. However, Chloe isn’t really sick. As viewers learn, Diane has been giving Chloe a mysterious green pill since she was a child. When Chloe asks her mom what the pill is, Diane tells her that it’s Trigoxin a heart medicine that she learns is a red pill, not the green pills that her mom has been giving her. When Chloe sneaks away from her mom and asks a pharmacist what the green pill is, she learns that the pill is a drug used as a muscle relaxant for dogs that could cause leg paralysis if ingested by humans.

So what is Trigoxin and the green pill and are they based on real drugs? It seems like both Trigoxin and the green pill are fictional, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t based on real medicine. Trigoxin, it seems, is similar in name to real-life drug called Digoxin. According to Mayo Clinic, the drug has a similar effect as Trigoxin in that it’s ued to improve the strength and efficiency of the heart and control the rate and the rhythm of the heartbeat, which leads to better blood circulation. In the movie, Trigoxin is also a heart medication, so the drugs are similar.

The green pill, on the other hand, seems to be similar to Lidocaine. In Run, the pharmacist explains that the green pill is a “muscle relaxant prescribed to reduce canine leg pain or leg discomfort caused by sunburns, bites or cuts.” The pharmacist also tells Chloe that her mom has been receiving the drug for her dog. According to John Science, the green pill is likely based on Lidocaine, which is used on both dogs and humans as a local anesthetic for sunburn, bites and cuts. Lidocaine can also cause numbness, according to the National Center For Biotechnology Information. However, while the green pills are likely based on Lidocaine, the pills themselves seem to be fictional. According to the Mayo Clinic, Lidocaine often comes in jelly, ointment, spray or as injections into the body. So the pill form may have been a bit of creative direction from the writers.

Run is available to stream on Hulu.

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