Dangerous Drugs

Think that animal testing is a reliable means to determine the safety and efficacy of drugs? Think again!

Here are some examples of where animal research has failed to identify human reactions. The following drugs were ‘successfully’ tested on animals:

DrugPurposeResult
AmrinoneTo treat heart failureCaused thrombocytopenia – a lack of blood cells needed for clotting in 20% of patients taking the drug on a long term basis.
AriprazoleAn antipsychoticCaused neuroleptic malignant syndrome – fever, confusion, disorientation, muscle rigidity, profuse sweating and autonomic instability.
AtenololBeta blocker, treatment for high blood pressure.Associated with 26% higher risk of stroke compared to newer drugs.
AvandiaType 2 diabetesCaused weight gain, bone fractures and heart disease.
BenoxaprofenA non steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic agent.Potent phototoxic drug in elderly persons.
BenziodaroneA coronary vasodilatorAcute uric acid build up in the kidneys.
BIA 10- 2474Pain relief and anxiety treatmentVolunteers in a Phase I clinical trial hospitalised with brain damage. One person died. January 2016.
CelebrexCox 2 inhibitor, arthritis painkillerRisk of heart attack, weight gain, abdominal pain, headache, dyspepsia, diarhhoea, nausea, kidney failure, fainting, blurred vision, allergic reactions, chest pain, ringing in ears, intestinal bleeding etc
CerivastatinTreatment for high blood chloresterol,Muscle toxicity
CisaprideGastrointestinal stimulantDisorders of heart rhythm, headaches, diarhhoea, constipation, nausea and abdominal pain.
ClioquinolIngredient in anti-diarrhoea drugsAt least 10,000 people, and possibly up to 30,000, fell victim to SMON (subacute myelo-optic neuropathy), a disease that causes numbness, weakness in the legs, paralysis, eye problems including blindness, all due to nerve damage.
ClozapineAnti psychoticSeizures, shaking hands, fainting, loss of bladder control, confusion, changes in vision, fever, severe muscle stiffness, sweating, changes in behaviour, sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, loss of appetite, upset stomach, yellowing of skin or eyes, flu like symptoms, lack of energy.
DexfenfluramineWeight lossCardiovascular side effects
Diethylstillbestrol (DES)A synthetic estrogen prescribed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriageIncreased spontaneous abortions, premature births and neonatal deaths. Increased risk of vaginal cancer in daughters and granddaughters of users.
DomperidoneTreat symptoms of stomach disordersHeadaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nervousness, flushing, irritability, hot flushes, trouble sleeping, leg cramps, chest pain, slow/fast heart beat, discharge from breasts, swelling of feet and ankles, difficulty urinating, menstrual changes, sexual difficulties.
DroperidolAntiemetic & anti psychoticSpasms of the face, disorders of heart rhythm.
EnbrelTreat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.Hypersensitivity reaction, sepsis, tuberculosis, reactivation of hepatitis B, malignancy, haematological reactions, autoimmunity, seizures and heart failure
Enzyme-inducing antiepileptic medicinesEpilepsyReduced bone mineral density and subsequent increased risk of fractures.
EraldinTreatment for heart conditionsFound to cause serious eye damage, including blindness. 23 deaths. Over a 1000 patients received compensation for the damage it caused.
ExantaBlood thinner to treat thrombosisCauses long term liver damage.
EzetimibeReduces the amount of cholesterol and fatty substances in the blood.Rapid onset of depression, hives, rashes, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the face, lips, ankles, throat, legs, hands eyes and tongue, upset stomach, tiredness, unusual bleeding and bruising, lack of energy, loss of appetite, chills, chest pain.
FenfluramineAnti obesity medicationHeart valve disease, pulmonary hypertension.
FialuridineHepatitis BSuccessful in mice, rats, dogs, woodchucks and primates, but in human trials caused seven people to develop liver failure – killing five and others requiring liver transplants.
GrepafloxacinAnti bioticCaused disorders of heart rhythm
HumiraRheumatoid arthritis treatmentHypersensitivity reaction, sepsis, severe reactions occurred with patients who had tuberculosis or hep B or lupus, can cause swelling, shortness of breath, chills, flu symptoms, weight loss, fever, patchy skin, chest pain, coughing up blood, easy bruising, pale skin, unusual weakness.
IbufenacNon steroidal Anti inflammatory (Ibuprofen)Caused severe liver damage.
Kava kavaHerbal remedy for stress and anxietyLiver toxicity
LeflunomideAnti inflammatory disease modifying anti rheumaticHepatotoxicity, nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, flu like symptoms, mild dizziness, chest pain, back pain, sore mouth, muscle cramping, numbness / tingling sensations.
LevacetylmethadolTreatment for opium addictionWithdrawn, caused severe cardiac disorders.
MethandrostenoloneAnabolic SteroidEnlargement of male breasts, water retention, oily skin, acne, unwanted body hair, aggression, male pattern baldness, liver damage.
MetipranololTreatment of GlaucomaSevere eye irritation or inflammation, slow heart beat or chest pain.
MibefradilTreatment of high blood pressureAbdominal pain, belching, heartburn, stomach discomfort, flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, pounding heart, stuffy nose, dizziness, lightheadedness, swelling legs, unusual tiredness.
Mumps vaccinePrevention of mumpsAllergic reactions – difficulty in breathing or swallowing, hives, itching, reddening of skin, swelling of eyes, face or inside of nose, unusual tiredness or weakness. Other side effects include bruising or purple spots on skin, confusion, fever, headache, irritability, pain, tenderness, swelling of testicles, stiffneck and vomiting.
Naftidrofuryl oxalate injectionTreatment for disorder of blood flow to the brainCardio toxicity, rash, inflammation of liver, nausea, stomach pain.
NomifensineAnti depressantLinked to kidney failure, anemia and death
OdanacatibTreatment for osteoporosisWithdrawn from development in September 2016 due to high risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke.
OlanzapineAnti psychoticConfusion, sluggishness, fever, disorientation, muscle rigidity, spasms, profuse sweating, autonomic instability, swelling of face, breathing problems, uncontrollable chewing and arm and leg movements, loss of memory, nervousness.
OprenArthritis drug.Found to be highly toxic in humans, with 3,500 reports of harmful effects including 61 British deaths, mainly through liver damage in the elderly.
OsmosinNon steroidal anti inflammatoryStomach ulceration and death
PacritinibTreatment for rare blood cancer called myelofibrosisTrials halted in February 2016 as a number of volunteers taking part died from brain haemorrhages or heart failure.
ParoxetineAnti depressant and anxiety treatmentSuicidal ideation, serotonin syndrome, bipolar mania or hypomania, schizophrenia, jaw / neck and back muscle spasms, fever, chills, sore throat and flu like symptoms, jaundice, GI bleeding, fetal defects, withdrawal syndrome, headache, weight loss, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, drowsiness, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea, erectile dysfunction, tremor, vertigo, dizziness.
PemolineADHD, and narcolepsyLiver toxicity
phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazoneNon steroidal anti inflammatoryGastrointestinal ulcers, kidney damage, oral lesions, internal heamorrhage, decreased appetite, excessive thirst, suppression of white blood cell production, aplastic aenemia.
PrenylamineAngina pectorisDepletes myocardial catecholamine stores
PropanididShort acting general anaestheticWithdrawn due to causing anaphylactic reactions
Pulmonary surfactantTo increase pulmonary complianceIncreased mortality.
RisperdalAntipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability.Increased risk of strokes and death in elderly dementia patients, seizures, major weight gain, onset of diabetes and potentially fatal high blood sugar.
Ritalin and DexamphetamineTreatment of ADHD, especially in children.Children as young as 5 suffered strokes, heart attacks, hallucinations and convulsions, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, hair loss, muscle spasms, severe abdominal pain, tremors, insomnia, severe weight loss, depression and paranoia.
SertindoleAnti psychoticCardiac arrhythmias, also caused some deaths
SimvastatinControl hypercholesterolemia & prevent cardio vascular disease17 % patients died between December 2005 and February 2006. Common side effects include, diarrhea, abdominal pain, indigestion, weakness. Less common – joint pain, memory loss and muscle cramps
SuprofenNon steroidal anti inflammatory.Caused kidney toxicity, withdrawn from the market.
TemafloxacinAnti bioticsDeath, low blood sugar, hemolytic anemia, other blood cell abnormalities, kidney dysfunction resulting in renal dialysis, liver dysfunction, allergic reactions causing life threatening respiratory distress.
Terbinafine (marketed as Lamisil)Oral treatment for fungal skin infections and thrushAs of January 2008 there were 722 reports of adverse effects, including 3 deaths from liver failure and 70 liver reactions.
TerodilineTreatment of urinary incontinenceCardiac arrhythmias
ThalidomideA sedative and to treat morning sickness in pregnant women.Found to cause damage to the human foetus, resulting in 10,000 children born crippled and deformed with missing limbs.
TGN1412Treatment of inflammatory conditions (especially rheumatism) and leukemiaVolunteers in a clinical trial suffered poor breathing, heavy swelling of neck and head, organ failure
TolcaponeTreatment of parkinsons diseaseLife threatening liver disease
TorcetrapibTreatment of hypercholesterolemiaUp to 82 known deaths reported worldwide.
TrasylolUsed to prevent blood loss during surgeryKidney problems, heart attacks and strokes
TriazolamSedativeNeuropsychiatric
TroglitazoneDiabetesCauses liver damage, resulted in 28 deaths and 7 liver transplants.
TrovanAnti bioticAcute liver failures and deaths.
ViagraErectile dysfunction drug given to pregnant women in a clinical trial to help boost growth of unborn babiesGrowth was severely limited in the womb and 11 babies died – despite being supported by animal research.
VioxxPainkiller for rheumatoid and osteoarthritisIncreased risk of cardiovascular events.
VoltarenNon steroidal Anti inflammatoryLife threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke.
ZelmacTreatment for irritable bowel syndromeStudies have shown a link to heart attacks and strokes.
ZelmidAnti depressantLinked to Guillain Barre syndrome, liver damage
ZolpidemShort term treatment of insomniaPossible death or coma from overdose, anterograde amnesia, hallucinations, delusions, ataxia and poor motor coordination, increased appetite, decreased libido, altered thought patterns, extroversion.
ZomaxArthritis treatment & anti inflammatory drug to treat post operative painDeaths and severe allergic reactions.

This list is by no means exhaustive but represents some examples in which lives may not have been harmed or even lost had we not relied on the dangerously misleading results from animal experiments. Had we instead looked more closely at human conditions, we can only wonder how much further we may have progressed by now. Please note, there are also treatments and procedures that have had adverse effects not predicted by animal experiments. For example, hemophilia gene therapy programs were discontinued due to complications such as liver damage. 

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