NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Tuesday banned on the counter selling of
medicines that contain codeine to help minimize the risk of
overuse and addiction.
Fred Siyoi, the Registrar of the
Pharmacy and Poisons Board told prescribers, dispensers and
general public to avoid selling and buying of the medicine.
"All medicines that contain codeine have been rescheduled
from Pharmacy Only Medicines to Prescription Only Medicine in an
effort to minimize the risk," Siyoi said in a statement issued
He said the medicine will no longer be sold in a pharmacy or
chemist without a valid prescription from a duly registered
Codeine is a narcotic pain medicine that is used to treat
mild to moderately severe pain but has often been used for
purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Misuse of this medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or
death, especially in a child or other person using the medicine
without a prescription.
People with severe breathing problems, a blockage in the
stomach or intestines and frequent asthma attacks or
hyperventilation, are advised not to use the medicine.
This medicine is not for use in children younger than 12
years old and anyone under 18 who recently had surgery to remove
their tonsils or adenoids.
Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause
life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if one uses codeine with
alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness.
Siyoi directed all marketing authorization holders to make
arrangements within the next six months to change packages of
medicines that contain codeine.
"You must use clear and prominently positioned warnings on
the label, summary product characteristics and patient
information leaflet about the risk of addiction, and the
importance of not taking these medicines for longer than three
days," he warned.
Siyoi said all valid prescriptions should have patient’s
name, address and age, medical practitioner’s name, address, and
their registration number from Medical Practitioners.