This may not be good news for some ‘science students’ who are addicted to codeine.

Now, they will not have easy access to the drugs after Nigeria’s Ministry of Health 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.

The ban came after a documentary titled, ‘Sweet, Sweet Codeine,’ was aired on BBC, putting Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole on the spotlight.

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The documentary, which has since gone viral, showed some Nigerian youths who were addicted to codeine displaying symptoms of mental illness and confined to an ill-equipped rehabilitation centre.

Adewole said the gross abuse of the drugs force the ministry to take the decision to ban it.

He added that cough syrups containing codeine should be replaced with dextromethorphan which is less addictive and directed the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria and NAFDAC to supervise the recall for labelling and audit trailing of all cough syrups that contain codeine in the country.

“The PCN has been directed to continue enforcement activities on pharmacies, patent and proprietary medicine vendor shops and outlets throughout the country.” He said.

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