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Drugs Banned in other Countries But Available in India

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Drugs Banned in other Countries but Available in India

Several drugs that are prohibited or withdrawn from other countries like the United States are still widely available in India. Some of these include the following:


Painkillers - Oxyphenbutazone, Nimesulide, Propoxyphene

  • Oxyphenbutazone is a non-opioid painkiller that has been banned in many countries since it causes bone marrow depression thereby reducing the number of blood cells in the body, and other side effects. Its combination with any other drug is banned in India though it is available as a single drug.
  • Nimesulide is a non-opioid painkiller that was found to cause liver failure and was never introduced in the US. Children with viral infection were particularly susceptible to this adverse effect of nimesulide. In India, its use in children below 12 years of age is banned though it can be used in adults.
  • Propoxyphene is an opioid painkiller that may alter the electrical activity of the heart, causing problems in heart rhythm. It is not banned in India.
Propoxyphene - Painkiller Banned in other Countries but not in India

Antibacterials - Furazolidone, Nitrofurazone

  • Furazolidone is used in the treatment of diarrhea caused by bacteria or protozoa, alone or in combination with another drug, metronidazole. Studies indicate that its use has a possibility of causing cancer, and it is therefore not used in several countries. In India, only its combination with loperamide, an anti-motility drug used in the treatment of diarrhea, is banned.
  • Nitrofurazone is a topically used antibacterial similar to furazolidone and therefore, could also possibly cause cancer. It is banned in some countries, but not yet in India.

Anabolic Steroid - Nandrolone decanoate

Nandrolone decanoate is a drug that is used in the treatment of anemia due to kidney disease and osteoporosis. The drug is commonly abused by athletes to build muscle mass. It has been discontinued in the United States but is still used in India.

Drugs Acting on the Brain - Thioridazine, Pergolide, Pemoline

  • Thioridazine is an antipsychotic drug used in the treatment of conditions like schizophrenia. Its side effects include abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmia, eye damage, and a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome where the patient suffers from high temperature and muscle rigidity. It continues to be available in India.
  • Pergolide is a drug used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, a condition that affects the nervous system resulting in stiffness and tremors. For a long time, levodopa and carbidopa were the only drugs effective in this condition. The availability of new drugs provided hope for the patients. Pergolide was among these newer drugs, however it had to be withdrawn because it caused damage to heart valves.
  • Pemoline, a drug used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, has been withdrawn in the United States due to its liver toxicity risk. However, it is not discontinued in India.

Cholesterol Lowering Drug - Cerivastatin

Cerivastatin is a cholesterol-lowering drug that caused several cases of rhabdomyolysis (destruction of skeletal muscles). With this side effect, patients suffered from damage to muscles followed by kidney failure. Unfortunately, it is still available in India.


Constipation - Phenolphthalein

Phenolphthalein belongs to a group of drugs called stimulant purgative, which are useful in the treatment of constipation. Studies in mice have indicated that its use may be associated with cancer or genetic damage, due to which it is not available in several countries. Though available in India, it is not frequently used.

Phenolphthalein Banned in other Countries but not in India

Human Placental Extract

The human placental extract is derived from the placenta obtained during delivery of a baby and finds use in the cosmetic industry. As other tissues of human origin, it may transmit infections like hepatitis B and HIV if adequate precautions are not taken, and is therefore not used in several countries. It is only allowed for two conditions in India - to be used locally for wound healing, and to be injected for pelvic inflammatory disease.


  1. Regulatory Control on Banned Drug: A Review Article - (https://www.pharmatutor.org/articles/regulatory-control-banned-drug-review-article)
  2. Rise and Fall of Anti-obesity Drugs - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083904/)
  3. Cardiovascular Safety of Prokinetic Agents: A Focus on Drug-induced Arrhythmias - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364982/)
  4. Gatifloxacin Ophthalmic Solution for Treatment of Bacterial Conjunctivitis: Safety, Efficacy and Patient Perspective - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619660/)

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I support the article as it is one of the few articles to guide the 'state-misguided' citizens of this administratively neglected country. Yet I find it dificult to find out the names of the brands which contained Fenfluramine [Pondimin] and Dexfenfluramine (Redux). I feel that citizens in India are not only suffering of apathy by the State but sometimes the silence of the State, which is many a cases has been spelled differently as 'corruption'. Poor citizens are suffering because the governments wont take action on the murderous companies and our representatives being hand (dirty, bloody) in glove (of the corporates). Time and again Indian citizens are tested like guinea pigs, most suffer to the last with their families in a state without healthcare insurance. Yet shameless heads claim to have made our country a super power e.g.; IT power: I fail to understand how can a country can be powerful in IT when it neither has a Operating System of its own and when it has yet to manufacture a hardware chip for a 'scientific calculator'? I again request, if anybody knows to help me by disclosing the brands which contained which Fenfluramine and Dexfenfluramine. Many are sufferring heart fibrosis, PPH, ...it is for them to know, what exactly happened to them?


Human aqueous Placental extract is a very effective drug. It contains several bioactive therapeutic molecules. We [the team of Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, an unit of CSIR India] are working for last 12 years with the extract the trade name is ‘Placentrex’ and identified different molecules with the potent therapeutic efficacy e.g. fibronectin type III like peptide, Bioactive NADPH, PDRNs , some other peptides with protease regulatory property etc. Banning this drug is a loss of a huge number of populations suffering from chronic, non-healing /diabetic wounds, burn injuries, surgical trauma etc. These research findings have been published in highly reputed international (Us and UK based) as well as national journals (ref Pubmed). It’s an Indian drug with a very good reputation in abroad like France, Switzerland, Korea etc. We have been invited several times in abroad (Europe, especially in France) to deliver lectures on ‘Placentrex’ research findings. We are still working with the drug. So far we have not found any adverse effect of the drug. Several clinical studies have also been done on it and these are also published in different peer-reviewed medical journals. Without knowing the rationality, efficacy and safety ‘Banning this highly reputed product of India’ is very much unethical. Banning of such a globally accepted drug must be reconsidered.


My strongest support is with the above comments. Research findings on indigenous human placental extract which is available at pubmed[www.pubmed.com]is very rational, based on extremely scientific foundation. Efficacy of the drug is unquestionable and it has been accepted by the global scientific community through several high rated international and National scientific journals. Banning of such a successful Indian formulation is a shame for the country itself. Through the research on this placental extract our country has been glorified several times. Without knowing the actual fact, banning the drug is a shameful as per my opinion.


My gynaecologist has suggested me take 10 pakcentrex injection in a period of 20 days to open my blocked right fallopian tube. Please advise if I can go for this treatment as I got to know that placentrex is a banned drug. Please help.


can you please give the references for this artcle


if it is a product derived from human tissues, can it transmit infectious diseases such as HIV ? I also have not seen any publications regarding its efficacy.

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