Banned Drugs; List of Banned Medicines


Here’s a list of banned drugs and medicines in the US. These drugs are not banned just in the US, but also UK, European Union and Mexico. However, it is sad that these drugs and medicines are still prescribed in India, especially combination medicines. Spurious chemists in the US may still sell these drugs; so you have to watch out for them. Also in countries like India, there is a lack of accountability, even if the drugs are banned, the ban is hardly adhered to. In India, when a person clears his MBBS exam, he or she is a doctor for life. But in other countries like the US, doctors have to pass an exam every five years to renew their license. This way, doctors are forced to be in touch with the latest in the field. Now let us look at some of the drugs that are banned in the US:

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  1. Cisapride: This medicine is used for gas trouble and nausea. The side effects are that they can cause irregular heartbeats. Recent research n the US shows that Cisapride has several side effects including damage to the heart. It has been banned in many countries. Doctors can prescribe Ranitidine as an alternative.
  2. Loperamide Quniodochlor: This medicine is used for controlling diarrhea. The side effects can be in the form of nerve damage. Loperamide Quniodochlor is banned in the US nad European Union. Peter Williams, a doctor in California says, “These drugs are not safe at all. We try to prescribe medicines that treat the cause of diarrhea rather than diarrhea itself.” The bottom line is you should consult your doctor to assess your condition and not go by the advice of lay persons.
  3. Isoxsuprine: Isoxsuprine is used to treat labor pain. But they are banned in the US due to isoxsuprine’s side effects which can include maternal respiratory distress. Also check with your doctor to confirm whether your abdominal pain is connected with uterine contraction. Most of the times, it is mere gastric trouble.
  4. Rosiglitazone, Metformin and Glibenclamide: These are combination of diabetes drugs that are used to control glucose levels. But in case of overdose, Rosiglitazone, Metformin and Glibenclamide side effects can be in the form of toxicity in the blood. These drugs are banned in the US and EU. India is perhaps the largest market for fixed-dose combination medicine; these combinations do not exist in the developed countries. Pills rolled with three different medications; rolled and sold as one sell in India. So if you are advised combination diabetes drugs, let your doctor know about health conditions that you have at present.
  5. Combination of calcium and alfa caldicol (active metabolized calcium): These drugs are used for kidney and thyroid problems. The side effects of these banned drugs in combination can be in the form of overdose and coma. Again this is a case of combination drugs that are sold in countries like India; they should actually be sold separately as it happens in other countries.
  6. Antibiotic and ameobocidal combinations like Tinnidazole, Norflaxcin and Metronidazole: These are used for stomach infection but the side effects of these combination medicines can be in the form of stomach cancer. These drugs are banned in the US and EU; and they are sold as separate and not in combination. Also combination drugs may be given only in case of very sick patients; doctors should refrain from giving them a combination medication on the excuse of a doubt.
  7. Combination of paracetamol and Nimesulide: These drugs are used to bring down fever. But the side effects of the combination medicine consisting of Paracatemol and Nimesulide are liver damage. Nimesulide is actually banned in the US. When given to children, a combination medicine of Nimesulide along with Paracetamol can lead to hypothermia which can be fatal. Also taking these potent medicines can bring down the body temperature for 12 hours, making it difficult to find out if a child has continuous fever which could be a typhoid symptom or intermittent fever which could be due to malaria. If paracetemol does not bring fever down, then the doctor should prescribe mefenamic acid. Never give medicines to your child without consulting the doctor. Alert your doctor in case, you cannot find the brand prescribed. Go for the generic name.

The other drugs that are banned in the US include

Droperidol: Used for anxiety; side effect: liver damage
Furazolidone: Used for diarrhea, side effect: carcinogenic.
Phenylpropanolamine: Used for cold, side effect: heart and brain damage.
Tegaserod: Used for gastric trouble, side effect: High blood pressure and back pain.
Phenolphthalein: Used for laxative, side effect: carcinogenic.

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