Travis has been on the baby name charts since the very beginning. It was particularly popular from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, ranking in the top 50 for 18 years straight.
Given this context, it’s not surprising that when a product called “Tavist-D” started to be marketed heavily in late 1992, the baby name Tavist debuted on the U.S. baby name charts the very next year:
- 1995: unlisted
- 1994: 10 baby boys named Tavist
- 1993: 16 baby boys named Tavist [debut]
- 1992: unlisted
Tavist-D, an antihistamine-decongestant, had been available in the U.S. by prescription since 1983. In early 1992, manufacturer Sandoz got permission from the FDA to sell Tavist-D over the counter. The drug became available to the public a few months later. It was introduced with a $40 million ad campaign. (For perspective, the company took in over $100 million in sales the first year.)
Though Tavist-D commercials continued to air until late 1990s, the name Tavist dropped off the baby name list after just two years. Why? Maybe because the name Travis was falling out of fashion by then. Or maybe because the brand name had become too well known. Ironically, the drug isn’t even around anymore; it was pulled from pharmacy shelves in 2000.
What are your thoughts on the baby name Tavist?
- Gerth, Jeff and Sheryl Gay Stolberg. “Another Part of the Battle: Keeping a Drug on the Shelves of Stores.” New York Times 13 Dec. 2000.
- “OTC Tavist Shows Rapid Growth.” The Pharma Letter 12 Apr. 1993.
(Another baby name inspired by medicine: Laxative Bromo Quinine.)