Checks by the Food and Drugs Authority in the Ashanti Region says it has uncovered sale and use of a drug known as dexamethasone, said to be a cure for COVID 19.
Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid is classified under prescribed only medicine used under medical supervision in the management of Covid-19 cases and other diseases.
It has proven effective in the United Kingdom for prevention of Covid-19 related death, but for severe cases with patients on ventilators in which patients are on ventilators.
But in Ghana, the drug is being used wrongly in the prevention of Covid-19 infection.
“Dexamethasone should not be under any circumstances be used for the prevention of Covid-19 as it has the potential to suppress the immune system.
“It will counteract the body’s natural function to fight against Covid-19 and other infections in the long term,” an FDA press release said.
Regional Head of FDA, Nora Narkie Terlabi, warned that the abuse of the drug which suppresses the immune system can derail the fight against the virus.
A preliminary check by the Authority revealed that the medication is being peddled in small quantities, with the street name ‘dompe dompe’.
Though sale of drugs in smaller pouches and hawking are both illegal in Ghana, the practice persists due to porous nature of the country’s borders.
“We are learning that the medication is packaged in smaller quantities and sold for ¢5,”, Mrs Terlabi explains.
The authority has mounted surveillance in and outside the region to track peddlers and users.
They say volunteering of information by the public will help deal with the menace.
FDA cautions against the use of the all unapproved medication in fight against the virus.
Officials advise strict observance of safety protocols and reporting all health conditions to the hospital.