Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

  • IASbaba
  • November 2, 2022
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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Context: Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) has demanded a ban on using aceclofenac in cattle after a new study showed that the drug metabolises into diclofenac in water buffaloes — as it does in cows.


NSAIDS as a major threat to vultures in India:

  • The rampant use of the three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) threatens to undo the Centre’s two decades of work to arrest the dwindling vulture population in the wild.
  • The three drugs—aceclofenac, ketoprofen and nimesulide—were introduced as alternatives to diclofenac, that India banned in 2006 for animal use because it caused widespread vulture deaths.
  • The country’s vulture population crashed from over 40,000 in 2003 to 18,645 in 2015, as per the last vulture census conducted by intergovernmental body Bird Life International.
  • India’s vulture conservation action plan for 2020-25 recommends a ban on the veterinary use of the three drugs.
  • India is also a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species’ Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures, which recognises NSAIDS as a major threat to vultures in India.
  • The vulture action plan recommends meloxicam over diclofenac. Tolfenamic acid is the other safe option.

About Aceclofenac:

  • It is used for the relief of pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
  • IVRI and its collaborators conducted the study and found that aceclofenac was rapidly converted to diclofenac while injecting the same water buffaloes.
  • Such metabolisms pose a threat to vulture populations in the country.

Diclofenac :

  • Anti-inflammatory drug was banned for veterinary use by the Government of India in 2006.
  • It was found to be the main cause of a dramatic decline (99 per cent) of the vulture population across Asia.
  • The drug caused accidental poisoning in raptors after they fed on carcasses of cattle injected with it.
  • Aceclofenac in water buffaloes poses the same threat to vultures as it is a pro-drug of diclofenac.
  • Vulture Action Plan 2020-2025 also mentions the drug as toxic, asking the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) to ban its veterinary use — along with other drugs like nimesulide and ketoprofen.

MUST READ: Vulture Conservation in India

Source: DownToEarth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) “Triclosan” considered harmful when exposed to high levels for a long time, is most likely present in which of the following? (2021)

  1. Food preservatives
  2. Fruit ripening substances
  3. reused plastic containers
  4. Toiletries


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