Ineffective, dangerous to health… here’s the list of drugs you’ll need to avoid in 2023

the essential
As every year, the professional journal Prescrire writes a list of medicines that must be avoided, either because they are ineffective or because they can pose a health hazard. La Dépêche du Midi takes stock.

“Avoid disproportionate harm to patients”. This is the goal that the independent review shows Prescribe who has just published – as every year for 12 years now – a list of 107 medicines that she considers ineffective or simply dangerous to health. This list was compiled by a panel of health professionals: “Certain medicines are added, others withdrawn, either because their marketing has been stopped by decision of the company or a health authority, or the time of a review per Prescribe of their benefit-risk balance, which is likely to be changed by new data being analyzed,” the review specifies.

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Of these 107 medicines, 88 are marketed in France. In its annual list, the journal Prescribe added three new drugs:

  • First we find Palforzia : this is a peanut seed powder, mainly used in connection with “desensitization in case of peanut allergy”. According to health professionals, on the contrary, this drug would tend to “increase the frequency of allergic reactions in daily life”.
  • Review Prescribe also added to its list Roxadustat (sold under the brand name “Evrenzo”). This drug is generally prescribed to treat “anemia associated with chronic renal failure”. Indeed, this would “not be more effective than epoetins in correcting anemia, while it appears to increase mortality in some patients and its side effect profile is more burdensome”, the specialized journal describes.
  • We finally find Opium tincture (also known as Dropizal). This product – described as a “soup” of various poppy constituents – is generally used to cure “severe diarrhoea”. But it would not be more effective than Loperamideanother marketed opioid “only in this situation”.

The magazine Prescrire has added its list nintedaniba medicine that was ruled out as safe in 2021. This product is used to treat “certain non-small cell lung cancer” (along with a medicine called Vargatef) as well as “certain chronic lung infections” (along with another medicine called Off). “Analysis of clinical evaluation data showed that […] the benefit/risk ratio for nintedanib is unfavorable. It is therefore again among the substances that must be excluded”, elaborates the report.

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Health professionals continue to rule out drugs as “theaceclofenac (Cartrex or other) and diclofenac (Voltaren or other) orally”. The review states that these products “expose an increase in cardiovascular side effects (including myocardial infarction, heart failure) and death of cardiovascular origin compared with other anti-nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as effective”.

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