The annual list of medicines that people should avoid in France has been published by the specialist magazine Prescrire, and the medicines are considered to offer more risk than benefit.
The magazine has published an updated list in France every year for 12 years. A panel of health professionals helps create the final recommendations, which are re-evaluated annually.
This year, the list is 107 drugs that are considered ineffective or too dangerous for health. Of these, 88 are still sold in France.
People who take the drugs, or are offered them by doctors, are advised to look for replacements.
The magazine stated: “Some drugs have been added, others have been removed, either because their marketing was stopped by a decision by the company or a health authority, or because Prescrire is reassessing their benefit-risk balance, which may be modified by new data currently being analysed.”
Prescrire does not have the authority to withdraw drugs from sale or use, but their recommendations are believed to be reliable and authoritative.
On the list
A variety of medications for the common cold, cough, and sore throat are on the list, as they are every year. These include dolirhumethe activated range, and Humex Rhumeas much as maxylase Y biocalyptol.
Three new products have also been added to the list. Is it so:
palforzia – A peanut seed powder, intended to help “desensitization in case of peanut allergy”. However, the review found that in practice, this drug tends to “increase the frequency of allergic reactions in everyday life.”
Roxadustat, sold under the brand name ‘Evrenzo’ – This medicine is usually prescribed to treat “anemia associated with chronic liver failure”. However, Prescrire said the drug is no more effective than standard anemia treatments, “has more serious side effects” and even “appears to increase mortality in some patients.”
Opium tincture (also known as dropizol) – Described as a “soup” of various components of the poppy, this medicine is generally used to cure severe diarrhea. However, Prescrire said that it is “no more effective than loperamide, another opioid marketed for this situation.”
Also added to the list nintedanibwhich had previously been delisted in 2021.
It is used to treat “certain non-small cell bronchial cancers” (with a medicine called Vargatef) as well as “certain chronic lung infections” (with another medicine called Ofev).
However, Prescrire said: “Analysis of the data from the clinical evaluation showed that the benefit-risk balance of nintedanib is unfavourable. Therefore, it is once again among the drugs to rule out.”
Also on the list are oral aceclofenac (Cartrex or other) Y Diclofenac (Voltarene or other).
Prescrire said: “These products are associated with increased adverse cardiovascular events (including myocardial infarction, heart failure) and cardiovascular deaths compared with other equally effective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.”
off the list
You can find and download Prescrire’s complete list of drugs to avoid and evaluation methodology. here (in French) from the Prescrire website.