Have you ever heard about Trigoxin?
Some years ago, two American men of Indian descent worked together on a story and brought life to it on the silver screen.
Moviegoers liked it. Critics praised it.
Entertainment sites featured it and not only because it was top billed by a versatile actress and a promising newcomer and not only for the gripping plot, too.
It’s also because of that mysterious green pill the movie introduced as Trigoxin. What is it really?
People learn about this drug or medication called Trigoxin from a Hollywood movie distributed by The Walt Disney Company’s subscription-based streaming service Hulu.
Netflix (except Netflix U.S.) started to include it on its international movie lineup in April 2021, according to What’s On Netflix.
We’re talking about Run (2020), a thriller film by director Aneesh Chaganty, whom he also co-wrote with award-winning screenwriter and movie producer Sev Ohanian.
It’s Chaganty’s second feature film after Searching (2018)and before Missing (2023), which also happen to belong to the same thriller genre.
The movie follows the story of Chloe Sherman, a teenage girl raised in isolation by her overprotective mother, Diane Sherman.
Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe recipient Sarah Paulson, who was included in TIME100: The Most Influential People of 2017, played the mother, with Kiera Allen - her debut feature film - as her daughter.
Sarah Paulson in a kitchen seated across Kiera Allen in the movie ‘Run’ Chloe is homeschooled and wheelchair-bound - paralyzed from the waist down- and, per Screen Rant, suffers from various medical conditions, including:
- arrhythmia (abnormal or irregular heartbeat)
- hemochromatosis (excessive iron absorption and accumulation in the body)
The plot revolves around Chloe’s growing suspicion that her mother may be hiding dark secrets from her. She notices some strange occurrences and inconsistencies in her daily routine.
As Chloe investigates further, she uncovers disturbing truths about her mother’s intentions. Eventually, she realizes that her life may be in danger.
Given Chloe’s numerous medical conditions, it’s no surprise that she takes a lot of medicines. One of them comes in dark green-gray pills in capsule form.
Now (spoiler alert) in one scene, Chloe can be seen rushing from a movie theater to a pharmacy, where her mother gets Chloe’s medications.
Chloe cut through the line and asked the pharmacist, Mrs. Bates (played by Canadian actress, director, and playwright Sharon Bajer), information about the dark green-gray pills.
Reading from a computer monitor, Mrs. Bates said that the green capsule is called Ridocaine that her mother buys for Chloe’s dog.
When pressed for more details, Mrs. Bates told Chloe:
It says it’s a muscle relaxant prescribed to reduce canine leg pain or leg discomfort caused by sunburns, bites, or cuts.- fictional character Mrs. Bates (actress Sharon Bajer)
Petrified, Chloe asked her what if a human takes Ridocaine, what will happen then? To which Mrs. Bates replied:
I suppose your legs could go numb.- fictional character Mrs. Bates (actress Sharon Bajer)
So, Diane makes Chloe take Ridocaine - a dog medicine - which she tells her daughter is Trigoxin, a medicine for her heart condition.
|Date Released||November 2020 (in the U.S.)|
|Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)||PG-13|
|Running Time||1 hour, 30 minutes|
|Writers||Aneesh Chaganty; Sevak “Sev” Ohanian|
|Producers||Natalie Qasabian; Sev Ohanian|
|Main Cast||Sarah Paulson; Kiera Allen|
There is no drug or medication under the name Trigoxin, which sometimes gets misspelled as Trigoxen.
It only exists in the film, Run (2020).
In that movie, Trigoxin is a made-up name for a drug for heart problems. Ridocaine is also an invented name for a dog medicine.
A November 2020 StyleCaster article suggests that, based on their intended uses, the equivalent of Trigoxin and Ridocaine can be digoxin and lidocaine, respectively.
Per WebMD, lidocaine can make the skin numb temporarily as it serves as a local anesthetic. It’s also used to relieve pain and/or itchiness from:
- atopic dermatitis or eczema (dry patches of red and itchy skin)
- insect bites
- minor burns
As an anesthetic, veterinarians also use it on cats and dogs with cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat), according to PetPlace.com.
A gray cat and a dog with black, white and brown coat on a grassy field lying next to each other on their stomach
Other people might confuse the fictional drug Trigoxin with another medication - a real one this time - TriOxin, which sounds like it.
Per Drugs.com, the generic names of TriOxin Ear Drops are:
- hydrocortisone acetate
New Jersey-based Vertical Pharmaceuticals manufactures TriOxin Ear Drops, which is used to treat otitis, an inflammation of the ear. It’s also used when the affected ear gets itchy from otitis.
Why would people not talk about Trigoxin and get curious about it? The film was a sensational success!
As Anthony D’Alessandro wrote in Deadline in November 2020, where he’s the editorial director and box office editor:
Runhas become Hulu’s most watched feature title ever during its opening weekend, and has ranked as the most talked about Hulu Original Film to date on Twitter.- Anthony D’Alessandro
Run (2020)is a riveting and suspenseful thriller that explores themes of control, manipulation, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child, even if it means crossing ethical and moral boundaries. Kiera Allen on a wheelchair looking curiously at a pill bottle on a table in a scene in ‘Run’
Why on earth would a parent cause his/her own child to develop an illness? What’s wrong with parents like Diane Sherman?
Such parents have a rare mental disorder initially referred to as Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Per MedlinePlus, a site operated by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this syndrome can be manifested either by:
- someone (a parent or a caregiver/caretaker) who takes care of an ill/injured/disabled/old person; or
- the person receiving care
Though the cause of Munchausen syndrome by proxy has not yet been established, the site said that it can be rooted from child abuse.
Richard Alan John Asher(1912-1969), a British hematologist (specialization: blood-related problems) and endocrinologist (specialization: hormone-related concerns), coined the term in 1951 after Baron Munchhausen, according to The Lancet.
Karl Friedrich Hieronymus(1720-1797) was an 18th-century German army officer who retired as a baron. He’s more known as the baron of Munchhausen or simply as Baron Munchhausen (also spelled with one “h”).
He’s fond of - and gained prominence from - telling exaggerated and embellished stories about his life experiences, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Diane Sherman’s character in Run (2020)has FDIA.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (2013)by American Psychiatric Association defines FDIS as “falsification of physical or psychological signs or symptoms, or induction of injury or disease, associated with identified deception.”
People with FDIS feign or exaggerate physical or psychological symptoms.
They often go to great lengths to create and maintain the appearance of illness, according to MedlinePlus. They even go so far as to undergo unnecessary medical procedures or treatments.
Those who saw Run (2020)not only wondered if Trigoxin was a real drug. They also speculated if the movie was based on a true story.
Well, it’s not, but there’s a TV mini-series with a similar storyline and based on true events.
The eight-part crime-drama The Act (2019), created by film writers and producers Michelle Dean and Nick Antosca, is about the tragic lives of Clauddine “Dee Dee” Blanchard and her daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard.
Patricia Arquette and Joey King played the mother-and-daughter tandem.
Like Diane Sherman in the movie, Dee Dee Blanchard had FDIA, albeit in real life.
According to Biography, Dee Dee made it appear for several years that Gypsy Rose had multiple complications - from asthma to muscular dystrophy (progressive weakening and degeneration of muscles) to leukemia (blood cancer).
Then one day, Gypsy Rose convinced a boyfriend she met online, Nicholas Godejohn, to murder her mother for her to finally live a free life.
In June 2015, the then-26-year-old Godejohn went to their house and stabbed Dee Dee 17 times, according to BuzzFeed News. She was 48.
Both he and Gypsy Rose were jailed.
Springfield News-Leader reported that Gypsy Rose, who turned 32 in July 2023, will be released from a Missouri prison on parole on December 28, 2023.
As mentioned earlier, the creation of Trigoxin for the movie Run (2020)could be inspired from the drug called digoxin (brand name: Lanoxin).
Digoxin is a medication that has been used for many years in the treatment of various heart conditions.
Derived from the leaves of the common foxglove, it belongs to a class of drugs known as cardiac glycosides.
The common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a flowering plant that is native to Europe. It’s known for its tall spikes of tubular, bell-shaped flowers that are usually purple.
Cardiac glycosides, a group of naturally occurring compounds that have a profound effect on the heart’s function, are found in plants like foxglove.
They have been used in medicine for their ability to influence heart function and manage certain heart conditions.
Digoxin affects the heart’s electrical and mechanical properties, making it useful in the management of certain heart problems. It works by increasing the strength and efficiency of the heart’s contractions.
Some of the heart conditions for which digoxin has been used include:
a. Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Digoxin can help control the heart rate in patients with atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by irregular and often rapid heartbeats.
It slows down the electrical impulses in the atria (the upper two chambers of the heart), which can be beneficial in some cases.
b. Atrial Flutter
Like AFib, atrial flutter involves abnormal heart rhythms in the atria. Digoxin can be used to control the heart rate in these cases.
c. Heart Failure
Digoxin is commonly prescribed for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF).
It helps the heart pump more effectively, improving the symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath and fatigue.
Digoxin does this by increasing the force of contractions and slowing down the heart rate, which can be beneficial in heart failure when the heart’s pumping ability is compromised.
d. Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
Digoxin can be used to manage certain types of supraventricular tachycardias, which are rapid heart rhythms originating above the ventricles.
It can help restore a normal heart rate in these cases.
In some cases, digoxin may be used experimentally (i.e., investigational uses) or in specific situations to treat other heart-related conditions.
Still, its primary indications are the above-mentioned conditions.
While digoxin can be effective in treating heart conditions, it can also have side effects. Some of the common side effects include:
a. Nausea and Vomiting
Many people experience gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea and vomiting), especially when they first start taking digoxin.
This can sometimes be relieved by taking their medication with food.
b. Visual Disturbances
Digoxin can affect vision and cause symptoms like blurred or yellow-tinted vision. This is more common when digoxin levels in the blood are too high.
Digoxin can slow down the heart rate, which can be beneficial in some cases but may lead to bradycardia (an excessively slow heart rate) when taken in excess.
Ironically, especially when taken in excessive doses, digoxin can cause abnormal heart rhythms (e.g., atrial and ventricular arrhythmias).
Digoxin has a narrow therapeutic window, which means that there’s a fine line between a therapeutic dose and a toxic dose.
Symptoms of digoxin toxicity can be life-threatening and include:
- severe arrhythmias
f. Electrolyte Imbalances
Digoxin can disturb the balance of electrolytes in the body, particularly potassium and calcium. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of digoxin toxicity.
Per IMDb, Kiera Allen (born December 29, 1997) has been using a wheelchair since 2014.
At 14, she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), according to Why the Book Wins.
EDS is a group of genetic connective tissue disorders that affect the structure and function of collagen, a protein that provides strength and elasticity to various tissues in the body.
Collagen is a crucial component of the skin, joints, blood vessels, and other organs.
People with EDS have weaker connective tissues compared to those who don’t and their condition affects their mobility.
Kiera Allen on a wheelchair in a matching plaid blazer and pants and posing in her bedroom
Trivia:At the time of this writing, it’s nearly 73 years since Hollywood last released a movie where an actress in a wheelchair was cast in a leading role.
The movie? It’s The Sign of the Ram (1948)by director John Sturges (1910-1992) and starring Susan Peters (1921-1952). It’s adapted from a novel of the same title by Margaret Ferguson published in 1945.
At 23, Peters became paralyzed from the waist down, reported The Evening Independent in January 1945. She was already a famous actress at that time.
Then Kiera Allen, a real-life wheelchair user, debuted as an actress in a feature film in Run (2020).
In the context of a nursing home, NursingHomeAbuse.org listed the following types of abuse inflicted by caregivers and/or nursing home personnel/staff on the elderly:
|“physical abuse”||“financial exploitation”|
|“neglect of a resident’s basic needs”||“abandonment”|
According to the site, a World Health Organization (WHO) study published in 2020 revealed that more than 9 percent of people working in a nursing home physically abused the elders placed under their care and supervision.
Per Verywell Health, some medicines that can cause paralysis include:
- vecuronium (brand name: Norcuron)
Called neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) or paralytic drugs, they’re given to certain patients who will undergo a surgical procedure.
It’s now clear that Trigoxin isn’t a real drug. There’s no medication under that name.
The term was just invented and introduced in Run (2020)as a fictional drug to address heart problems.
Though Trigoxin doesn’t exist at all, in the real world, there have been cases of Munchausen syndrome by proxy through the years as well as people who either have FDIA or FDIS.