Medical journal Prescrire has released its annual list of drugs that it says do more harm than good, listing 91 drugs it said consumers should avoid, 82 of which are sold in France.
“The goal is to help people to choose quality care and to ensure patients aren't hurt or harmed,” the group wrote in its analysis, which is based on seven years of research.
It said that the drugs on the list were more dangerous than useful and should be avoided for a number of reasons, the group noted, including the risk of patients getting sicker, potentially healing better without them, or even that the drugs may offer nothing more than a placebo effect.
“Patients are totally exposed to unjustified risks due to the the persistence of companies to commercialize drugs and the inertia of drug agencies to stop them,” the magazine wrote.
The drugs vary in type, including some for diabetes, arthritis, allergies, nausea, and cancer.
For example, Prescrire reported that cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Befizal, Lipanor and Lipanthyl offered little more than a placebo effect.
Meanwhile, Motilium, Voltaren, and Ephedrine were deemed to be “too dangerous”.
Other medicines on the list included:
Anti depressants: Valdoxan, Cymbalta, Seropram, Seroplex, Ixel, Effexor LP, and Stablon.
For chest and respiratory problems: Ephedrine, Muxol, Bisolvon, Thiovalone, Xolair, Nucala, Bronchitol, Ofev and more.
For migraines: Sibelium and Nocertone.
The full list of drugs “to avoid” is available in a PDF file at the bottom of this link.
The news will no doubt be read with eager eyes by the French, who are typically heavily reliant on drugs and are frequent visitors of pharmacies nationwide.
In November last year the government vowed to crackdown on the country's national addiction to anti-biotics.
Indeed, the news that a French infant with a vitamin D deficiency was killed in December after being administered Uvestérol D made headlines across the country.