When Humans Respond Differently

When Humans Respond Differently

Here are some examples of where animal-based research has failed to predict human reactions. The following drugs were ‘successfully’ tested on animals:


Drug Purpose Result
Amrinone To treat heart failure Caused thrombocytopenia - a lack of blood cells needed for clotting in 20% of patients taking the drug on a long term basis.
Ariprazole An antipsychotic Caused neuroleptic malignant syndrome – fever, confusion, disorientation, muscle rigidity, profuse sweating and autonomic instability.
Atenolol Beta blocker, treatment for high blood pressure. Associated with 26% higher risk of stroke compared to newer drugs.
Avandia Type 2 diabetes Caused weight gain, bone fractures and heart disease.
Benoxaprofen A non steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic agent. Potent phototoxic drug in elderly persons.
Benziodarone A coronary vasodilator Acute uric acid build up in the kidneys.
BIA 10- 2474 Pain relief and anxiety treatment Volunteers in a Phase I clinical trial hospitalised with brain damage. One person died. January 2016.
Celebrex Cox 2 inhibitor, arthritis painkiller Risk of heart attack, weight gain, abdominal pain, headache, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, nausea, kidney failure, fainting, blurred vision, allergic reactions, chest pain, ringing in ears, intestinal bleeding etc
Cerivastatin Treatment for high blood chloresterol, Muscle toxicity
Cisapride Gastrointestinal stimulant Disorders of heart rhythm, headaches, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea and abdominal pain.
Clioquinol Ingredient in anti-diarrhoea drugs At least 10,000 people, and possibly up to 30,000, fell victim to SMON (subacute myelo-optic neuropathy), a disease that causes numbness, weakness in the legs, paralysis, eye problems including blindness, all due to nerve damage.
Clozapine Anti psychotic Seizures, shaking hands, fainting, loss of bladder control, confusion, changes in vision, fever, severe muscle stiffness, sweating, changes in behaviour, sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, loss of appetite, upset stomach, yellowing of skin or eyes, flu-like symptoms, lack of energy.
Dexfenfluramine Weight loss Cardiovascular side effects
Diethylstillbestrol (DES) A synthetic estrogen prescribed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriage Increased spontaneous abortions, premature births and neonatal deaths. Increased risk of vaginal cancer in daughters and granddaughters of users.
Domperidone Treat symptoms of stomach disorders Headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nervousness, flushing, irritability, hot flushes, trouble sleeping, leg cramps, chest pain, slow/fast heartbeat, discharge from breasts, swelling of feet and ankles, difficulty urinating, menstrual changes, sexual difficulties.
Droperidol Antiemetic & antipsychotic Spasms of the face, disorders of heart rhythm.
Enbrel Treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Hypersensitivity reaction, sepsis, tuberculosis, reactivation of hepatitis B, malignancy, haematological reactions, autoimmunity, seizures and heart failure.
Enzyme-inducing antiepileptic medicines Epilepsy Reduced bone mineral density and subsequent increased risk of fractures.
Eraldin Treatment for heart conditions Found to cause serious eye damage, including blindness. 23 deaths. Over 1000 patients received compensation for the damage it caused.
Exanta Blood thinner to treat thrombosis Causes long term liver damage.
Ezetimibe Reduces the amount of cholesterol and fatty substances in the blood. Rapid onset of depression, hives, rashes, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the face, lips, ankles, throat, legs, hands eyes and tongue, upset stomach, tiredness, unusual bleeding and bruising, lack of energy, loss of appetite, chills, chest pain.
Fenfluramine Anti obesity medication Heart valve disease, pulmonary hypertension.
Fialuridine Hepatitis B 

Successful in mice, rats, dogs, woodchucks and primates, but in human trials caused seven people to develop liver failure - killing five and others requiring liver transplants.

Grepafloxacin Anti biotic Caused disorders of heart rhythm
Humira Rheumatoid arthritis treatment Hypersensitivity reaction, sepsis, severe reactions occurred with patients who had tuberculosis or hep B or lupus, can cause swelling, shortness of breath, chills, flu symptoms, weight loss, fever, patchy skin, chest pain, coughing up blood, easy bruising, pale skin, unusual weakness.
Ibufenac Non steroidal Anti inflammatory (Ibuprofen) Caused severe liver damage.
Kava kava Herbal remedy for stress and anxiety Liver toxicity.
Leflunomide Anti inflammatory disease modifying anti rheumatic Hepatotoxicity, nausea, diarrhoea, hair loss, flu-like symptoms, mild dizziness, chest pain, back pain, sore mouth, muscle cramping, numbness/tingling sensations.
Levacetylmethadol Treatment for opium addiction Withdrawn, caused severe cardiac disorders.
Methandrostenolone Anabolic Steroid Enlargement of male breasts, water retention, oily skin, acne, unwanted body hair, aggression, male pattern baldness, liver damage.
Metipranolol Treatment of Glaucoma Severe eye irritation or inflammation, slow heart beat or chest pain.
Mibefradil Treatment of high blood pressure Abdominal pain, belching, heartburn, stomach discomfort, flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, pounding heart, stuffy nose, dizziness, lightheadedness, swelling legs, unusual tiredness.
Mumps vaccine Prevention of mumps Allergic reactions – difficulty in breathing or swallowing, hives, itching, reddening of the skin, swelling of eyes, face or inside of nose, unusual tiredness or weakness. Other side effects include bruising or purple spots on the skin, confusion, fever, headache, irritability, pain, tenderness, swelling of testicles, stiffneck and vomiting.
Naftidrofuryl oxalate injection Treatment for disorder of blood flow to the brain Cardio toxicity, rash, inflammation of liver, nausea, stomach pain.
Nomifensine Anti depressant Linked to kidney failure, anaemia and death.
Odanacatib Treatment for osteoporosis  Withdrawn from development in September 2016 due to high risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke. 
Olanzapine Anti psychotic Confusion, sluggishness, fever, disorientation, muscle rigidity, spasms, profuse sweating, autonomic instability, swelling of face, breathing problems, uncontrollable chewing and arm and leg movements, loss of memory, nervousness.
Opren Arthritis drug. Found to be highly toxic in humans, with 3,500 reports of harmful effects including 61 British deaths, mainly through liver damage in the elderly.
Osmosin Non steroidal anti inflammatory Stomach ulceration and death.
Pacritinib Treatment for rare blood cancer called myelofibrosis  Trials halted in February 2016 as a number of volunteers taking part died from brain haemorrhages or heart failure. 
Paroxetine Anti depressant and anxiety treatment Suicidal ideation, serotonin syndrome, bipolar mania or hypomania, schizophrenia, jaw / neck and back muscle spasms, fever, chills, sore throat and flu-like symptoms, jaundice, GI bleeding, fetal defects, withdrawal syndrome, headache, weight loss, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, drowsiness, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea, erectile dysfunction, tremor, vertigo, dizziness.
Pemoline ADHD, and narcolepsy Liver toxicity
phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone Non steroidal anti inflammatory Gastrointestinal ulcers, kidney damage, oral lesions, internal haemorrhage, decreased appetite, excessive thirst, suppression of white blood cell production, aplastic anaemia.
Prenylamine Angina pectoris Depletes myocardial catecholamine stores.
Propanidid Short acting general anaesthetic Withdrawn due to causing anaphylactic reactions.
Pulmonary surfactant To increase pulmonary compliance Increased mortality.

Antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability.

Increased risk of strokes and death in elderly dementia patients, seizures, major weight gain, onset of diabetes and potentially fatal high blood sugar.

Ritalin and Dexamphetamine Treatment of ADHD, especially in children. Children as young as 5 suffered strokes, heart attacks, hallucinations and convulsions, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, hair loss, muscle spasms, severe abdominal pain, tremors, insomnia, severe weight loss, depression and paranoia.
Sertindole Anti psychotic Cardiac arrhythmias, also caused some deaths.
Simvastatin Control hypercholesterolemia & prevent cardio vascular disease 17 % of patients died between December 2005 and February 2006. Common side effects include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, indigestion, weakness. Less common – joint pain, memory loss and muscle cramps.
Suprofen Non steroidal anti inflammatory. Caused kidney toxicity, withdrawn from the market.
Temafloxacin Anti biotics Death, low blood sugar, hemolytic anaemia, other blood cell abnormalities, kidney dysfunction resulting in renal dialysis, liver dysfunction, allergic reactions causing life-threatening respiratory distress.
Terodiline Treatment of urinary incontinence Cardiac arrhythmias.
Thalidomide A sedative and to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. Found to cause damage to the human foetus, resulting in 10,000 children born crippled and deformed with missing limbs.
TGN1412 Treatment of inflammatory conditions (especially rheumatism) and leukaemia Volunteers in a clinical trial suffered poor breathing, heavy swelling of neck and head, organ failure.
Tolcapone Treatment of parkinsons disease Life-threatening liver disease.
Torcetrapib Treatment of hypercholesterolemia Up to 82 known deaths reported worldwide.
Trasylol Used to prevent blood loss during surgery Kidney problems, heart attacks and strokes.
Triazolam Sedative Neuropsychiatric.
Troglitazone Diabetes Causes liver damage, resulted in 28 deaths and 7 liver transplants.
Trovan Anti biotic Acute liver failures and deaths.
Viagra Erectile dysfunction drug given to pregnant women in a clinical trial to help boost the growth of unborn babies Growth was severely limited in the womb and 11 babies died - despite being supported by animal research.
Vioxx Painkiller for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis Increased risk of cardiovascular events.
Voltaren Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Life-threatening heart or circulation problems, including heart attack or stroke.
Zelmac Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome Studies have shown a link to heart attacks and strokes.
Zelmid Antidepressant Linked to Guillain Barre syndrome, liver damage
Zolpidem Short term treatment of insomnia Possible death or coma from overdose, anterograde amnesia, hallucinations, delusions, ataxia and poor motor coordination, increased appetite, decreased libido, altered thought patterns, extroversion.
Zomax Arthritis treatment & anti-inflammatory drug to treat postoperative pain Deaths and severe allergic reactions.

The above table was provided by our friends at Humane Research Australia.