The medical journal Prescrire has identified 107 drugs not to be taken: here is the list

Every year to prescribea French medical journal covering diseases, drugs and medical techniques and technologies, updates your medication list from avoid because they are judged more risky than useful to the people. According to the list drawn up at the end of 2022, created by analyzing all the medicines authorized to be sold on the market in the EU identified 107 of them (listed at the bottom of the article) that should be avoided because considered ineffective or too dangerous for health. Most of these can also be purchased in Italian pharmacies.

The recommendations of to prescribe I’ve always been considered reliable and worthy to be taken seriously. The work that the magazine carries out is in fact noteworthy: strong in its independence (the organization is financed entirely thanks to its subscribers without advertising, without subsidies, without shareholders) to prescribe submits all principles to an assessment of the risks and benefits with the help of its independent experts. The main goal of to prescribe it is instead to protect the health of patients, avoiding major collateral damage.

Compared to last year’s list, which already included a number of medicines for the common cold, cough and sore throat such as Dolirhume, the Actifed range and Humex Rhume, and Maxilase and Biocalyptol, the experts of the French magazine have added three items: peanut protein, Roxadustat and opium tincture.

Let’s see them in detail. As for the peanut seed powder, containing peanut protein (which is commercially found under the name of Palforzia), taken orally, it is mainly used to “desensitize” peanut allergy. According to clinical trials, the drug actually does its job, but its intake has at the same time increased in patients the frequency of allergic reactions in daily life. Instead for Roxadustat, sold under the brand name ‘Evrenzo’ and used to treat “anemia related to chronic renal insufficiency”, it has been shown that as a drug it is no more effective than standard anemia treatments, but “has more serious side effects” and even “seems to increase mortality in some patients”. Finally there is the opium tincture, registered under the trademark Dropizal, known in Italy as Dropizolo. This medicine, derived from various poppy constituents, is generally used to treat the most severe forms of diarrhea. However, second to prescribeis no more effective than loperamide, another opioid marketed to treat similar situations (such as Imodium). Nintedanib is also added to the list, marketed in Italy under the name OFEV. It is an approved drug for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and, in combination with other drugs, for the treatment of some forms of non-small cell lung cancer. Analyzes of data from clinical evaluations showed that the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product is unfavourable and for this reason it must be excluded from the treatment.

The method used by to prescribe is judged reliable for several reasons: it is based on documentary research methodical and reproducible, carried out by a team of doctors specialized in various health professions. Furthermore, once completed, all the work ends up under the magnifying glass of a network of reviewers (specialists of the addressed topic, methodologists and other professionals), followed by multiple “quality checks”.

For those wishing to learn more, here is the complete list (also available here) of the 107 drugs indicated by to prescribedivided into groups:

Drugs used in hematology and for transplants:

Defibrotide (Defitelio) The medical journal Prescrire has identified 107 drugs not to take: here is the list

Cancer drugs:

Mifamurtis (Mepact)

Nintedanib (Vargatef)

Panobinostat (Farydak)

Roxadustat (Evrenzo)

Trabectedin (Yondelis or other)

Vandetanib (Caprelsa)

Vinflunine (Javlor)

Drugs prescribed in cardiology:

Aliskiren (Rasilez)

Bezafibrate (Befizal)

Ciprofibrate (Lipanor or other)

Fenofibrate (Lipanthyl or other)

Dronedarone (Multiq)

Ivabradine (Procoralan or other)

Nicorandil (Ikorel or other)

Olmesartan (Alteis, Olmetec, Alteisduo, Coolmetec, Axeler, Sevikar)

Ranolazine (Ranexa)

Trimetazidine (Vastarel or other)

Vernakalant (Brinavess)

Drugs used in dermatology and allergy:

Finasteride 1mg (Propecia or other)

Mequitazine (Primalan)

Cutaneous pimecrolimus (Elidel)

Cutaneous tacrolimus (Protopic or other)

Promethazine injection (Phenergan)

A peanut seed powder containing peanut (Palforzia) protein

Drugs used in diabetes and nutrition:

-Drugs for diabetes:

Gliptins: alogliptin (Vipidia, Vipdomet), linagliptin (Trajenta, Jentadueto), saxagliptin (Onglyza, Komboglyze), sitagliptin (Januvia, Xelevia, Janumet, Velmetia), and vildagliptin (Galvus, Eucreas)

Pioglitazone (Actos)

-Drugs used for weight loss:

Combination of bupropion and naltrexone (Mysimba)

Orlistat (Xenical or other)

Medications used for pain and rheumatology:

– Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Aceclofenac (Cartrex or other)

Oral diclofenac (Voltaren or other)

Coxibs: celecoxib (Celebrex or other), etoricoxib (Arcoxia or other), and parecoxib (Dynastat)

Ketoprofen gel (Ketum gel or other)

Meloxicam (Mobic or other)

Piroxicam (Feldene or other)

Systemic tenoxicam (Tilcotil)

-Medicines for osteoarthritis:

Diacerein (Art 50 or other)

Glucosamine (Flexea or other)

Muscle relaxants:

Oral Mephenesin (Decontractyl)

Methocarbamol (Lumirelax)

Thiocolchicoside (Miorel or other)

Medicines for osteoporosis

Denosumab 60mg (Prolia)

Romosozumab (Evenity)

-Drugs used in rheumatology:

Capsaicin patches (Qutenza)

The combination of colchicine, opium powder and thiemonium (Colchimax)

Quinine (Hexaquine, Okimus)

Drugs used in gastroenterology

Obeticholic acid (Ocaliva)

Medicated clays: diosmectite (Smecta or other), hydrotalcite (Rennieliquo), beidellitic montmorillonite or monmectite (Beldelix, Gelox) and kaolin (Gastropax, Neutroses)

Domperidone (Motilium or other)

Droperidol (Droleptan or other)

Metopimazine (Vogalene, Vogalib)

Prucalopride (Resolor)

Tincture of opium (Dropizal)

Glyceryl Trinitrate, 0.4% Ointment (Rectogesic)

Drugs used in gynecology and endocrinology:

Tibolone (Livial or other)

Ulipistral 5mg (Esmya)

Medicines used in infectious diseases:

Moxifloxacin (Izilox or other)

Drugs used in neurology:

-Medications for Alzheimer’s disease

Donepezil (Aricept or other)

Galantamine (Reminyl or other)

Rivastigmine (Exelon or other)

Memantine (Ebixa or other)

-Medicines for multiple sclerosis

Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada)

Natalizumab (Tysabri)

-Other drugs used in neurology (epilepsy, migraine, cognitive impairment, dizziness, ischemic intermittent claudication, Parkinson’s disease)

Fenfluramine (Fintepla)

Flunarizine (Sibelium)

Oxetorone (nocertone)

Ginkgo biloba (Tanakan or other)

Naftidrofuryl (Naftilux or other)

Piracetam (Nootropyl or other)

Tolcapone (Tasma)

Drugs used in pulmonology and ENT:

-Cough medicine:

Ambroxol (Muxol or other)

Bromhexine (Bisolvon)

Oxomemazine (Toplexil or other)

Pentoxyverine (Pentoxyverine Clarix 0.15%)


-Medicines for sore throat:

Alpha-amylase (Maxilase or other)

Tixocortol oral spray (Rhinadvil sore throat)

-Medications used for lung or ENT disorders:

Oral and/or nasal decongestants: ephedrine, naphazoline, oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, pseudoephredine, tuaminoheptane and xylometazoline

Inhaled Mannitol (Bronchitol)

Nintedanib (Ofev)

Roflumilast (Daxas)

Drugs used in psychiatry and addictions:

-Medications for depression:

Agomelatine (Valdoxan or other)

Citalopram (seropram)

Escitalopram (Seroplex or other)

Duloxetine (Cymbalta or other)

Milnacipran (Arrow Milnacipran or other)

Venlafaxine (Effexor LP or other)

Esketamine nasal spray solution (Spravato)

Tianeptine (Stablon or other)

-Other psychotropics:

Dapoxetine (Priligy)

Etifoxine (Stresam)

Drugs used to quit smoking:

Buproprion (Zyban)

Drugs used in urology:

Oral pentosan polysulfate (Elmiron)

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The medical journal Prescrire has identified 107 drugs not to be taken: here is the list

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