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(Last Updated On: June 18, 2018)


Codeine is an opiate used for its analgesic (pain reliever) and more commonly antitussive effect (cough suppressant) in cough syrups. Codeine containing cough syrups are effective in the management of certain cough. However, it has a high potential for abuse and may present some serious

adverse reactions to the user. For these reasons, access to codeine containing cough syrups has been restricted in several countries. Some of the known adverse effects of codeine include: respiratory depression; hallucination and physical dependence as a result of continued use.

NAFDAC is working with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) and National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development(NIPRD) to arrest the increasing abuse of these cough syrups in Nigeria. NAFDAC is embarking on massive public enlightenment campaign on the dangers of abuse of codeine containing medicines in Nigeria. The Agency has put in place strategy to limit the supply and distribution of codeine containing cough syrups in Nigeria. Prescribers and dispensers are encouraged to prescribe and dispense these cough syrups rationally. Consumers are advised to take codeine containing cough syrups only on prescription by health care professionals.

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