Health Minister, Kwame Agyemang Manu, has said, government intends to restrict access to the use of Tramadol, a known painkiller, to check the rising cases of abuse of the drug.
There have been reported cases of death among some young men who used the drug as sex enhancers.
Some were reported to have mixed the drug with soft and other different kinds of drinks.
Answering a question posed to him in Parliament on Thursday, the Minister said, the restriction will “ensure its inability to be sold unless it is based on a prescription.”
The Minister further indicated that, 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.”
Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
But persons with severe breathing problems, a blockage in the stomach or intestines, or persons who have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, narcotic medication, or an MAO inhibitor (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others) are not allowed to use the drug.
Children who are below age 12 are also not allowed to use the drug.