, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – Cough syrup, painkillers and even medicines for diarrhoea which contain codeine will now be available on prescription only.
This is after the Pharmacy and Poisons Board rescheduled the opium derivative on account of its abuse.
“In North-eastern they are using it for some other things and even in parts of Mombasa,” the Board Registrar Fred Siyoi told Capital FM News.
Medications containing codeine have previously been available over the counter without the need for a prescription.
“So we are restricting its availability so that only those who need it, the doctor has to write and the pharmacist has to dispense according to that prescription. And restricted to three days; or else if it is misused it becomes an addiction,” Siyoi explained.
Access to medication containing codeine is restricted in many parts of the world on account of its addictive nature and the resultant risk of abuse.
Heroin addicts for instance, when unable to get their hands on the drug, in some cases turn to codeine.
In the southern states of America for example, cough medications containing codeine are often abused and incorporated as the active ingredient in sizzurp – an intoxicating drink made by adding cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine to a carbonated soft drink, consumed as a recreational drug.
Artiste Lil Wayne is a self-confessed consumer of sizzurp.