Food and Drugs Authority in the Ashanti Region says it has uncovered the sale and use of a drug known as dexamethasone, said to be used in the treatment of Covid-19.
Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid is classified under prescribed only medicine used under medical supervision in the management of novel coronavirus cases and other diseases.
It has proven effective in the United Kingdom for the prevention of Covid-19-related deaths, 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 the infection.
“Dexamethasone should not be under any circumstances be used for the prevention of COVID 19 as it has 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 contained.
Regional Head of FDA, Nora Narkie Terlabi, warns the abuse of the drug which suppresses the immune system can derail the fight against the virus.
A preliminary check by the authority reveals 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 the porous nature of the country’s borders.
“We are learning that the medication is packaged in smaller quantities and sold for 5 cedis,” Mrs Terlabi explained.
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 cautioned 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.