Madrid: Nolotil is the name of the drug that has now been banned in Spain after ten British citizens lost their lives. The prescribed medication was given to the tourists who were complaining of pain. The painkiller Nolotil was the drug prescribed to the tourists that resulted in the blood poisoning of these individuals and eventually their death.
Metamizole or dipyrone is the chemical name of the drug, and it is sold under many commercial names around the world. The drug is banned in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia, but it is an over the counter drug in Brazil and India. While the Nolotil was still a prescription drug in Spain and controlled under the drug laws of the country, it is now completely banned for use.
The drug has been linked to undermine the immune system of the human body. The medical term of it is agranulosis, in which the number of white blood cells in the blood falls to a dangerously low level making the human body prone to all sorts of infections. Surprisingly the drug seems only to target the light-skinned population of the world, as no such complicated cases have surfaced in Brazil or India, where the drug is freely available. A further investigation follows to uncover as to how the drug can affect only north European genes.
Boehringer Ingelheim, the German company manufacturing the drug denies these reports and still promotes that their product is safe. They cite that the claims made by the Spanish authorities are unsubstantiated and unscientific, and therefore completely false. The company also claims that their studies show only one in every ten thousand individuals could show side effects to their product. These claims by the company, however, have not been able to sway the decision of the Spanish health services to ban the use of the drug. The authorities further ask all travellers to always keep their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in case of any emergencies.
This is not the first time that differences between the federal drug and medical boards of the world have caused trouble for travellers. The Japanese, for example, do not allow the tourist to bring drugs containing codeine which is present in over the counter Vicks inhalers here in the UK. Indonesia has also decided to ban the entry of ADHD medicine that is even prescribed by a British doctor, and Singapore and China do not have most of the over the counter medicines at all, that we use in the United Kingdom.