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Brief report of the effects of seven human drugs studied on ants as models

MOJ Biology and Medicine
Marie Claire Cammaerts  

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Since 2012, we used ants as models for examining the effects of products used by humans. Here, we summarize our seven last studies which concerned green clay, glucosamine, sildenafil, a homeopathic drug, as well as diclofenac, meloxicam and etoricoxib, three anti–inflammatory drugs. Green clay appeared to be an excellent product without adverse effects. In humans, it allows reducing gastric hyperacidity and should thus be used instead of aluminum hydroxide or calcium + magnesium carbonates which present adverse effects. Glucosamine was also safe. It only increased the ants’ locomotion and this effect might explain, at least partly, its efficiency. Sildenafil has many adverse effects, the cause of which being probably a decrease of sensitive perception. Such an impact may result from the activity of sildenafil: it inhibits phosphodiesterases and increases amounts of cGMP and cAMP. The homeopathic drug Ignatia amara, used for easing stress symptoms, had no adverse effects and unexpectedly reduced the ants’ state of stress. Even if its functioning stays unknown, this drug could help stressed persons. Diclofenac had several adverse effects and may lead to dependence; meloxicam had far less adverse effects and did not lead to dependence; etoricoxib had some adverse effects and did not lead to dependence. Obviously, meloxicam was the safest of the three anti–inflammatory drugs. Experimentation on ants can thus inform practitioners and pharmacists on potential harmful effects of products before providing them to humans.


diclofenac, etoricoxib, glucosamine, green clay, ignatia amara, meloxicam, sildenafil, phosphodiesterases, myrmica, ontogenesis, libitum, tenebrio molitor, viagra, verventi, naproxen