The Ministry of Health has said it intends to restrict access to the use of Tramadol, a known painkiller, to check the rising cases of abuse of the drug.
The drug, which is said to have flooded the Ghanaian market in alarming quantities, has serious addictive tendencies, according to Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu.
He said the restriction will “ensure its inability to be sold unless it is based on a prescription.” Responding to questions on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, the Minister said the government will also “organise swoops on illicit tramadol products on the market.”
Among other measures, he said there will be “collaboration with the pharmacy council to restrict Tramadol display on the shelves of community pharmacies by putting them under lock and key, and also ensure strict enforcement on distribution as controlled drugs.”
He also said there will be “intensified public education through Frequently Asked Questions on social media platforms, ongoing public education on tramadol use at public areas such as transport terminals, schools, marketplaces, beaches etc.”
Some of the commonly reported side effects of tramadol include pruritus, agitation, anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, hallucination, nausea, tremor, vomiting, and diaphoresis and insomnia.
Warning from Pharmaceutical Society
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana had already cautioned the general public on the proliferation of the painkiller.
The Society said although the drug is approved for the management of pain, the rapid increase in its use by the youth is worrying.
Even though tramadol is an approved drug for the management of pain, the strengths approved for use in Ghana by the FDA are the 50mg and 100mg oral capsules.