The Federal Ministry of Health has directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ban with immediate effect the production and importation of codeine as active pharmaceutical ingredient for cough preparations to check substance abuse among Nigerians.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this known in a statement issued by Mr Olajide Oshundun, Assistant Director of Information in the ministry, in Abuja on Tuesday.
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.