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Source: Americans for Medical Advancement
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50 DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF LAB ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS
Americans for Medical Advancement
* Smoking was thought non-carcinogenic because
smoking-related cancer is difficult to reproduce in lab animals. Many
continued to smoke and to die from cancer.
* Benzene was not withdrawn from use as an industrial
chemical despite clinical and epidemiological evidence that exposure
caused leukemia in humans, because manufacturer-supported tests failed
to reproduce leukemia in mice.
* Animal experiments on rats, hamsters, guinea pigs,
mice, monkeys, and baboons revealed no link between glass fibers and
cancer. Not until 1991, due to human studies, did OSHA label it
* Though arsenic was a known human carcinogen for
decades, scientists still found little evidence in animals to support
the conclusion as late as 1977. This was the accepted view until it
was produced in lab animals.
* Many continued to be exposed to asbestos and die
because scientists could not reproduce the cancer in lab animals.
* Pacemakers and heart valves were delayed in
development because of physiological differences between animals they
were designed on and humans.
* Animal models of heart disease failed to show that a
high cholesterol/high fat diet increases the risk of coronary artery
disease. Instead of changing their eating habits to prevent the disease,
people continued their lifestyles with a false sense of
* Patients received medications that were harmful and/or
ineffective due to animal models of stroke.
* Animal studies predicted that beta-blockers would not
lower blood pressure. This withheld their development. Even
animal experimenters admitted the failure of animal models of
hypertension in this regard, but in the meantime, there were thousands
more stroke victims.
* Surgeons thought they had perfected radial keratotomy,
surgery performed to enable better vision without glasses, on rabbits,
but the procedure blinded the first human patients. The rabbit cornea is
able to regenerate on the underside, whereas the human cornea can only
regenerate on the surface. Surgery is now performed only on the surface.
* Combined heart lung transplants were also "perfected"
on animals, but the first 3 patients all died within 23 days. Of 28
patients operated on between 1981 and 1985, 8 died peri-operatively, and
10 developed obliterative bronchiolitis, a lung complication that the
experimental dogs did not get. Of those 10, 4 died and 3 never
breathed again without the aid of a respirator. Obliterative
bronchiolitis turned out to be the most important risk of the
* Cyclosporin A inhibits organ rejection, and its
development was watershed in the success of transplant operations. Had
human evidence not overwhelmed unpromising evidence from animals, it
would never have been released.
* Animal experiments failed to predict the kidney
toxicity of the general anesthetic methoxyflurane. Many people lost all
* Animal experiments delayed the use of muscle relaxants
during general anesthesia.
* Research on animals failed to reveal bacteria as a
cause of ulcers and delayed treating ulcers with antibiotics.
* More than half of the 198 new medications released
between 1976 and 1985 were either withdrawn or relabeled secondary to
severe unpredicted side effects. These side effects included
complications like lethal dysrhythmias, heart attacks, kidney failure,
seizures, respiratory arrest, liver failure, and stroke, among others.
* Flosint, an arthritis medication, was tested on rats,
monkeys and dogs; all tolerated the medication well. In humans, however
it caused deaths.
* Zelmid, an antidepressant, was tested on rats and dogs
without incident. It caused severe neurological problems in humans.
* Nomifensine, another antidepressant, was linked to
kidney and liver failure, anemia, and death in humans. Animal testing
had given it a clean, side effect-free bill of health.
* Amrinone, a medication used for heart failure, was
tested on numerous animals and was released without trepidation. Humans
developed thrombocytopenia, a lack of the type of blood cells that are
needed for clotting.
* Fialuridine, an antiviral medication, caused liver
damage in 7 out of 15 people. 5 eventually died and 2 more needed liver
transplants. It worked well in woodchucks.
* Clioquinol, an antidiarrheal, 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.
* Eraldin, a medication for heart disease, caused 23
deaths despite the fact that no untoward effects could be shown in
animals. When introduced, scientists said it noted for the thoroughness
of the toxicity studies on animals. It caused blindness and deaths in
humans. Afterwards, scientists were unable to reproduce these results in
* Opren, an arthritis medication, killed 61 people. Over
3500 cases of severe reactions have been documented. Opren had been
tested on monkeys and other animals without problems.
* Zomax, another arthritis drug, killed 14 people and
caused many more to suffer.
* The dose of isoproterenol, a medication used to treat
asthma, was worked out in animals. Unfortunately, it was much too toxic
for humans. 3500 asthmatics died in Great Britain alone due to overdose.
It is still difficult to reproduce these results in
* Methysergide, a medication used to treat headaches,
led to retroperitoneal fibrosis, or severe scarring of the heart,
kidneys, and blood vessels in the abdomen. Scientists have been
unable to reproduce this in animals.
* Suprofen, an arthritis drug, was withdrawn from the
market when patients suffered kidney toxicity. Prior to its release
researchers had this to say about the animal tests:
"...excellent safety profile. No ...cardiac, renal, or CNS [central
nervous system] effects in any species."
* Surgam, another arthritis drug, was designed to have a
stomach protection factor that would prevent stomach ulcers, a common
side effect of many arthritis drugs. Although promising in lab animal
tests, ulcers occurred in human trials.
* Selacryn, a diuretic, was thoroughly tested on
animals. It was withdrawn in 1979 after 24 people died from drug induced
* Perhexiline, a heart medication, was withdrawn when it
produced liver failure that had not been predicted by animal studies.
Even when they knew they were looking for a particular type of liver
failure, they could not induce it in animals.
* Domperidone, designed as a treatment for nausea and
vomiting, made human hearts beat irregularly and had to be withdrawn.
Scientists were unable to reproduce this in dogs even with 70 times the
* Mitoxantrone, a treatment for cancer produced heart
failure in humans. It was extensively tested on dogs, which did not
manifest this effect.
* Carbenoxalone was supposed to prevent formation of
gastric ulcers but caused people to retain water to the point of heart
failure. After scientists knew what it did to humans they tested it on
rats, mice, monkeys, rabbits, without reproducing this effect. 
* Clindamycin, an antibiotic, causes a bowel condition
called pseudomenbraneous colitis. It was tested in rats and dogs every
day for one year. They tolerate doses 10 times greater than
* Animal experiments did not support the efficacy of
valium-type drugs during development or after.
* Pharmacia & Upjohn discontinued clinical tests of its
Linomide (roquinimex) tablets for the treatment of multiple sclerosis
after several patients suffered heart attacks. Of 1,200 patients, 8
suffered heart attacks as a result of taking the medication. Animal
experiments had not predicted this.
* Cylert (pemoline), a medication used to treat
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, caused liver failure in 13
children. Eleven either died or needed a liver transplant.
* Eldepryl (selegiline), a medication used to treat
Parkinson's disease, was found to induce very high blood pressure. This
side effect has not been seen in animals, where it is used to treat
senile dementia and endocrine disorders.
* The diet drug combination of fenfluramine and
dexfenfluramine was linked to heart valve abnormalities and taken off
the market although animal studies had never revealed heart
* The diabetes medication troglitazone, better known as
Rezulin, was tested on animals without significant problems, but caused
liver damage in humans. The company admitted that at least one patient
had died and another had to undergo a liver transplant as a result.
* The plant digitalis has been used for centuries to
treat heart disorders. However, clinical trials of the digitalis-derived
drug were delayed because it caused high blood pressure in animals.
Human evidence overrode. As a result, digoxin, an analogue of digitalis,
has saved countless lives. Many more could it have survived had
digitalis been released sooner.
* FK 506, now called Tacrolimus, is an anti-rejection
agent that was almost shelved before proceeding to clinical trials due
to severe toxicity in animals. Animal studies suggested that the
combination of FK 506 with cyclosporin might prove more useful. In
fact, just the opposite proved true in humans.
* Animal experiments suggested that corticosteroids
would help septic shock, a severe bacterial infection of the
blood. Unfortunately, humans reacted differently. This treatment
increased the death rate in cases of septic shock.
* Despite the ineffectiveness of penicillin in his
rabbits, Alexander Fleming used the antibiotic on a very sick patient
since he had nothing else to try. Luckily, Fleming's initial tests were
not on guinea pigs or hamsters, it kills them. Howard Florey, the Nobel
Prize winner credited with co-discovering and manufacturing penicillin,
stated: "How fortunate we didn't have these animal tests in the 1940s,
for penicillin would probably never been granted a license, and possibly
the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realized."
* Fluoride was withheld as a cavity preventative
initially because it caused cancer in rats.
* The notoriously dangerous drugs thalidomide and DES
were tested in animals and released. Tens of thousands suffered and died
as a result.
* Animal experiments misinformed researchers about how
rapidly HIV replicates. Based on this false information, patients did
not receive prompt therapies and their lives were shortened.
* Animal-based research delayed the development of the
polio vaccine, according to Dr. Albert Sabin, its inventor. The first
rabies and polio vaccines worked well on animals but crippled or killed
the people who tried them.
* Researchers who work with animals have succumbed to
illness and death due to exposure to diseases that though harmless to
the animal host (such as Hepatitis B) but kill humans.
* Time, money, and resources devoted to these
experiments could have gone to human-based research. Clinical studies,
in vitro research, autopsies, post-marketing drug surveillance, computer
modeling, epidemiology, and genetic research pose no hazard to humans
and provide accurate results. Importantly, animal experiments have
exhausted resources that could have been dedicated to educating the
public about health hazards and health maintenance, therein
diminishing the incidence of disease that require treatment.
ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION DOES NOT MAKE SENSE
HUMAN-BASED SCIENCE PREVENTS DISEASE AND CREATES VALID
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