The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has referred 21 over-the-counter chemical sellers to the Pharmacy Council for stocking and selling high doses of Tramadol.
Nora Narkie Terlabi, the Ashanti Regional head of the FDA told Joy News, the exercise is to regulate the sale of the drug in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.
The FDA seized over 4000 tablets which are beyond the registered dose of 50 and 100 milligrams. It discovered that there was a lot of unregistered 200 milligrams being sold on the open market in the region.
According to Narkie Terlabi, the Authority will soon be monitoring some pubs as well.
“We will use some informants to get to some pubs soon…we are picking that at some of the pubs, Tramadol is dropped into alcoholic beverages and sold.
“We have not been able to get any physical evidence yet but we will pursue it…we are actively following up on it,” she said.
The Authority’s action is in response to what it says is the abuse of the medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain.
Tramadol, a restricted medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain, has become almost “a street drug” for the treatment of a normal pain like a headache, sometimes with approval from health practitioners.
A mental health expert has called for urgent action to discontinue the increasing abuse of the strong pain reliever, Tramadol, which has become very popular among the public, particularly the youth.
Dr Yao Mfodwo, a Consultant Psychiatrist at The Brain Clinic at Abokobi in Accra, fears continued use and abuse of the drug can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
“It is as bad as a very silent Ebola or a very silent Lassa fever,” suggested the medical doctor who formerly worked with global pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer with responsibility for Neurosciences and Sexual Medicine.
The FDA said it is collaborating with other government agencies to man the various borders to close any loose end to stop the influx of the drug.
The Pharmacy Council has also hinted of conducting its own investigations so as to sanction those found culpable.