Drugs are substances that have a mind-inducing effect when taken. This effect can manifest physically, bringing about a change in the person’s behaviour. It helps relieve discomfort or pain in the body and is mostly used to cure illnesses and diseases. There are so many types of drugs, and they affect the body in different ways. That is why it is always advised that you visit a pharmacist or doctor whenever you have an illness, so you can be prescribed the correct drugs to take.
In Nigeria, there are some drugs that are banned and are no longer prescribed or sold by pharmacists. Such drugs may have been good to take at one time, but they may have been observed to have adverse effects on the body, meaning that while they cure one illness, they may damage other parts of the body. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) are responsible for banning drugs in Nigeria. These drugs have also been banned because of their tendency to be abused by people who seek more than just pain relief from drugs. But it is not uncommon to find these drugs still being sold, although discreetly. Some people still buy such drugs because they are not aware that they have been banned, but ignorance is never an excuse.
So today, we would be looking at some of the drugs that have been banned in Nigeria.
Codeine is a common ingredient in cough medicines, meant to relieve pain and to stop the cough. Not all cough medicines contain the opioid codeine, however, and they were only prescribed to adults or those with very strong cough cases. Codeine in cough syrup is added in regulated amounts so that the effect is not obvious if it is taken the right way. But there has been an increase in the way the drug has been abused over the years. Codeine is one the most common drug abused in Nigeria.
People buy bottles of cough medicines containing the drug just to drink, without following proper instructions. This often results in a “high” that makes the person slow. Over time, the person becomes addicted to the drug. Abusing codeine could lead to seizures, loss of coordination, memory loss, and even death. Codeine was banned in 2018 following a study that reported the rate of codeine abuse and addiction among young people in Nigeria.
Initially used to relieve pain, tramadol, another opiate, was at one time one of the most abused drugs in the country. It comes in caplets and doses ranging from 50 – 500 milligrams. Someone with severe pain is not meant to take more than 200mg.
But over time, people have discovered the mild-altering effect gotten from tramadol especially when consumed in higher doses. It is also used by men to increase libido and delay ejaculation. Today, tramadol is no longer sold in pharmacies, and possession of the drug has been criminalised. Many studies and documentaries have been publish regarding tramadol addiction in Nigeria.
This drug, a benzodiazepine, popularly called Refnol in Nigeria, is known for being a temporary treatment of insomnia. It has anaesthetic effects on the body, shutting it down and making the individual incapable of doing anything until the effect wears off. The drug is commonly used as a date-rape drug because it can be almost impossible to detect in drinks or anything. It was on January 2013 that NAFDAC announced the partial ban of Flunitrazepam (rohypnol) after Cynthia Osokogu was raped and killed after he was drugged with rohypnol.
Many people grew up knowing Novalgin, Analgin, and Akarin as prescription pain-killer drugs but they have now been banned for many years now. This is because they contain Dipyrone, a substance that causes bone marrow depression. On June 1 2005, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), announced the ban on the manufacture and importation of all drugs containing dipyrone including Novalgin and Analgin after two secondary school girls suffered sever Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs).
Other Drugs Banned By NAFDAC in Nigeria:
The following are a list of other drugs banned by NAFDAC in Nigeria:
Cisapride: Uses: Acidity, constipation. Reason for ban: irregular heartbeat Brand name: Ciza, Syspride, Propulsid and Prepulsid.
Droperidiol: Uses: Anti-depressant. Reason for ban: Irregular heartbeat. Brand name: Droperol.
Nimesulide: Uses: Painkiller, fever. Reason for ban: Liver failure. Brand name: Nise, Nimulid.
Quiniodochlor: Uses: Anti-diarrhoeal. Reason for ban: Damage to sight.
Brand name: Enteroquinol.
Piperazine: Uses Anti-worms. Reason for ban: Nerve damage. Brand name: Piperazine.
Oxyphenbutazone: Uses: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Reason for ban: Bone marrow depression. Brand name: Sioril, Buta.
Nitrofurazone: Uses: Antibacterial cream. Reason for ban: Cancer. Brand name: Furacin.
Laxative. Reason for ban: Cancer.
Brand name: Agarol.
Phenylpropanolamine: Uses: Cold and cough. Reason for ban: Stroke.
Brand name: D’cold , Vicks Action-500, Procold.
Gentamycin 280mg: Uses: Bacterial infection. Reason for ban: Nephrotoxicity, ototoxicity. Brand name: Garamycin, Gentak.
Rosglitazone: Uses: Diabetes. Reason for ban: Heart attack, stroke. Brand name: Avandia.