These Dangerous Rx Meds Are Banned in the U.S. — and Here’s Why

There is a long list of prescription drugs that are available in the U.S. But there is also a lengthy list of drugs that are banned. Sure, most medications have side effects. But these drugs have side effects so dangerous that they became illegal. Here are seven dangerous medications that are banned in the United States. You may recognize some of them.


housewife eating pills

Quaaludes were heavily misused. | CentralITAlliance/iStock/Gettty Images

Many people associate this prescription with its portrayal in popular movies as a recreational party drug. ButQuaaludes became heavily misused, and eventually gained negative attention — particularly with side effects like mania, convulsion, and death. In 1984, the FDA made Quaalude an illegal¬†¬†Schedule I drug, like heroine and LSD.


Middle-aged businessman suffering chest pains

This drug can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. |

You may recognize this appetite suppressant from when it was legal and had a rotating TV commercial. But 13 years after being approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Meridia was given the boot in the U.S. and Canada. Research found that the controversial diet drug had very negative effects on the heart, putting patients at a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke.


Lying down and sad

Suicidal thoughts can increase while on this drug. |

Zimelidine, also known as Zemlin, holds a coveted world-wide ban. This antidepressant has been linked to serious cases of Guillian-Barre syndrome, an often fatal condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system. Additionally, Zimelidine increases the chance of suicidal thoughts and tendencies in depressed patients.


prescription pills falling out of a bottle

This drug caused severe allergic reactions. |

This antibiotic was introduced in 1991, then banned in 1992 after severe side effects became present. The drug caused severe allergic reactions and was linked to hemolysis, a breakdown of red blood cells that affects the organs. The drug caused three deaths.


pills in person's hand

This drug’s effects only lasted three months. |

Boots UK developed Manoplax to help patients with congestive heart failure. Instead, the drug was yanked by its manufacturer in 1993 when studies revealed that the effects of the drug only lasted a couple months. Patients who took Manoplax for more than three months had a higher risk of hospitalization, and death.


illustration showing male liver anatomy

Trovan has been linked to liver problems. |

The FDA¬†warned about this antibiotic in 1999 because of its link to liver problems. The drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, claimed using Trovan a limited amount would work fine. But the FDA eventually pulled Trovan in the U.S. in 2001. In 2009, Pfizer had to pay a huge settlement to the government of Nigeria for illegally testing Trovan on children in the 1990s.


3D image of brain

Raptiva was linked to a rare viral infection. |

Major biotech company Genentech withdrew its psoriasis drug Raptiva from countries in Europe and Southeast Asia before it was inevitably banned stateside. The medication was linked to a rare, and often fatal, viral infection that causes inflammation of white matter in the brain.

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