Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nimesulide and 2 other drugs face Health ministry ban

Three drugs viz. nimesulide, cisapride and phenylpropanolamine (PPA) which are used in treating pain and fever in children, stomach acid reflux and cold or cough respectively, have been declared as unsafe by Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) of the Union Ministry of Health. The drugs may be banned very soon.

The most pharmaceutical companies in India have already stopped manufacturing these drugs following their ban in many developed countries, including Britain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Nimesulide has never been filed for food and drug administration evaluation for sale in the US, where it is not marketed.

Apart from India, nimesulide is marketed in 49 other countries worldwide, including Italy, France, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Belgium, Mexico and Brazil Nimesulide tablets are routinely prescribed for inflammation, pain and fever in India because they have a longer-lasting effect. Unlike paracetamol, which usually acts for 4-6 hours, nimesulide brings down pain and fever for 12-18 hours. However, the side-effects include liver damage. The World Health Organization recommends paracetamol, which should be the first drug of choice for fever, followed by ibuprofen.

Cisapride is another banned drug declared unsafe which was found to cause irregular heartbeats. It has Rs2 crore market. PPA which commands a Rs3.5 crore market is a component of cold and cough remedies.


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