Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
November 17, 2005

Beware! Animal Drug Testing Often Unsafe For Humans

"Apparently, the animal researchers are content to let children die from a new drug just as long as it was first developed for and tested on animals. But this is well known already."

Those eager to a find magic bullets be aware! Inter species testing, often callously, cited by the drug pushers to advance their agendas is often pretentious at worst and misguided at best. The following 18 drugs are just some examples from many.

Is it any wonder that the Medical system is leading cause of death and injury?

Chris Gupta

See also: How Disease-Mongering Works

The following, taken from Dr Ray and Jean Greek's book*, are just some examples of pharmaceutical drugs which have been deemed safe for human use after extensive animal testing, but which were later found to cause serious side effects.

•Amrinone: Use of this drug for treating heart failure led to 20 per cent of patients developing thrombocytopenia (a lack of blood cells needed for clotting), despite a comprehensive program of animal studies in mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs and rhesus monkeys. Some of these patients died.

•Birth control pills: These are known to cause life-threatening blood clots in some women, yet scientists have still not been able to reproduce this finding in animals. In fact, dog testing predicted that the pill would decrease the likelihood of clotting.

•Chloramphenicol: This antibiotic caused life-threatening anaemia in humans. Chloramphenicol is an example of a drug whose effects vary from species to species: dogs do well with it, cats die from it, cows tolerate it but horses do not. It is so toxic to susceptible humans that its use has been outlawed in animals used for food. The tiny amount consumed from ingesting a hamburger made from a treated cow will cause death in such a person unless they receive a bone marrow transplant.

•Clioquinol: This anti-diarrhoeal passed tests in rats, cats, dogs and rabbits. It was pulled off the shelves all over the world in 1982 after it was found to cause blindness and paralysis in humans.

•Diethylstilbestrol: This synthetic oestrogen was designed to prevent miscarriage, but it did just the opposite by increasing the rate of spontaneous abortions, premature births and neo-natal deaths. No human trials were done; all the safety data were collected from animals.

•Eraldin: This heart drug was withdrawn in 1975 after causing serious side effects in an estimated 7,000 victims, 23 of whom died. It had been tested for six years in mice, rats, dogs and monkeys and when introduced on the market was "particularly notable for the thoroughness with which its toxicity was studied in animals, to the satisfaction of the authorities".10 Even long after the drug was withdrawn, scientists failed to reproduce these results in animals.

•Floxin: This antibiotic progressed through animal testing, only to cause seizures and psychosis when used by humans.

•Isuprel: A medication used to treat asthma, it proved devastatingly toxic to humans in the amounts recommended based on animal studies. In Great Britain alone, 3,500 asthmatics died from using the medication.

•Manoplax: This heart drug, which had been tested on rats, mice, rabbits, cats and guinea-pigs, was withdrawn worldwide in 1993 after analysis of patients showed that those taking it were at increased risk of hospitalisation and/or death.

•Methysergide: This treatment for migraine led to severe scarring of the heart, kidneys and blood vessels in the abdomen, although scientists have been unable to reproduce these effects in animals.

•Opren: This treatment for rheumatism and arthritis killed 61 people and caused 3,500 adverse reactions. Withdrawn in 1982, the drug had been tested on monkeys and other animals for nine years with no adverse side effects.

•Phenylpropanolamine (PPA): This drug, found in many common cold and flu remedies, was banned by the FDA in the US after it was linked to causing between 200 and 500 strokes in young women a year.

•Primacor: This medication, given when the heart is not pumping enough blood, worked well in rats but increased deaths in humans by 30 per cent.

•Ritodrine: This drug, prescribed to avert premature labour, induced pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs, causing breathing difficulties and possibly death).

•Suprofen: This arthritis drug was withdrawn from the market when patients suffered kidney toxicity. Prior to its release, researchers said this about the animal tests: "...excellent safety profile. No.cardiac, renal [kidney] or central nervous system [side effects] in any species."11

•Tamoxifen: This drug, used to treat and prevent breast cancer in women, caused liver tumours in rats but not in mice or hamsters.12 The drug has been shown to be harmless to the developing foetus of rabbits and monkeys, but to cause bone abnormalities in rat foetuses.13 One of the side effects is nausea and vomiting, but this was not predicted in animal studies, even though high doses were tested in dogs -- the species considered most predictive of vomiting in humans.14 The drug has also been implicated in uterine cancer, blood clots, memory loss, absence of periods, and eye damage such as cataracts.15

•Zomax: This arthritis drug killed 14 people and caused many more to suffer


10. Nature 1 April 1982, pp. 387-90.
11. Spriet-Pourra, C. and M. Auriche, Drug Withdrawal from Sale, PJB Publications (Scrip Report), 1988, 2nd edition.
12. Lancet 1992; 340:1145-1147.
13. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Monographs on Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans, 1996, pp. 253-635.
14. Weatherall, M., Safety Testing of New Drugs: Laboratory Predictions and Clinical Performance, Academic Press, 1984, pp. 157-158.
15. See Breast Cancer Action website,; also Christiane Northrup's book, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, Piatkus, UK, 1998.

Extracted form a must read Nexus article: The Human Cost of Animal Experiments

*What Will We Do If We Don't Experiment on Animals: Medical Research for the Twenty-First Century (Paperback)
by Jean Swingle Greek, Ray C. Greek

The Greeks' newest contribution to the growing debate regarding the most ethical use of limited resources for medical research will be unpopular with the animal-model community. `Unpopular' may be an understatement; they are going to hate it.
Whenever the question of using animals in research comes up you can be certain that the animal researchers and their supporters will accuse you of hating children if you criticize their cruelties or even their science. "What else do you suggest?" is their common challenge, "should we experiment or little children, or just let them die?" Indeed, it is in their financial interests to cast any critic as a callous lout. But now, the answers are much clearer.

In What Will We Do If We Don't Experiment On Animals? the Greeks explain the failures and risks of basing medicines for humans on the results of experiments on other species. Apparently, the animal researchers are content to let children die from a new drug just as long as it was first developed for and tested on animals. But this is well known already.

The new ground in the Greeks newest book is the compilation of modern research techniques that really are providing new insights into human disease and offering potential new cures. Readers are given a tour of truly modern medical research that is grounded in a thorough appreciation of the underlying genetics behind disease and our individual responses to drug therapies.

Unlike much of the traditional antivivisectionist literature, the Greeks write from the perspective that we have learned something about human biology from studying animals even if we could have learned the same things in other ways. More importantly, they point out that we no longer wonder what a heart does, and that today we are seeking to understand the roles of the proteins coded for by each organism's unique genetic code. The subtleties that account for differences between species are the same subtleties that explain why a rat, a dog, and a human will each respond differently at the molecular level to any particular drug.

But, the real value in the book is not its power to point out the failures and ugly profiteering of the animal modelers, but to give the reader hope by pointing out the growing number of research efforts underway based on modern science. The reliance on the most modern of methods accounts for the fact that an ever-growing number of researchers interested in curing and preventing human disease have turned to non-animal methods based on human biology.

For anyone with an interest in leading edge biomedical science, this book will probably become a well-worn reference.

Reviewer: Rick Bogle


posted by Chris Gupta on Thursday November 17 2005

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Readers' Comments

The matter of safe drugs is vitally important but can hardly be solved becaus eit involves money.

Posted by: drug counselor on April 16, 2006 02:47 PM


yes some medicines may pass through animal testing but the list above is certainly not most or even close to a fraction of the safe medicines produced from animal testing

Posted by: Ryan on December 6, 2010 07:12 PM


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