The Federal Ministry of Health has directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ban with immediate effect further issuance of permits for the importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations following the inreasing rate of its gross abuse.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole made this known in Abuja on Monday.
According to Adewole, the directive became necessary due to the gross abuse codeine usage has been subjected to in the country, especially in Northern Nigeria.
In its stead, the minister said codeine containing cough syrups should be replaced with dextromethorphan which is less addictive.
He also directed the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, (PCN) and NAFDAC to supervise the recall for labelling and audit trailing of all codeine containing cough syrups in the country, while he has also banned sales of codeine containing cough syrup without prescription across the country.