NAFDAC warns on performance-enhancing drugs, says it can lead to sudden death

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned against the use of performance-enhancing substances known as aphrodisiacs, as their persistent consumption can lead to stroke or sudden death.

Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of the agency, in her Christmas and New Year goodwill message to Nigerians, specifically decried the increasing use of the substances, popularly known as “manpower” by male Nigerians to impress their female partners.

Adeyeye said the consumption of these drugs, most of whom are not registered with NAFDAC but smuggled into the country have led to the deaths of many men, whose sad demise has been ascribed to many absurd reasons by their family members.

Sayo Akintola, NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, in a statement released in Lagos on Sunday, said the NAFDAC boss also described as false the claims by the producers and marketers of the products that they have no side effects, insisting that majority of the products did not go through the approval process of the Agency.

“’Many people are ignorant of the possible damage that misuse of aphrodisiacs or use of unregistered drugs could cause,” Adeyeye said.

She added that there are manufacturing and quality guidelines, and insisted that if these products were registered, the producers and marketers would not be engaging in unwholesome marketing practices in the marketplace and the social media.

She warned that NAFDAC would not shy away from its responsibilities of bringing peddlers of such dangerous drugs to book for violating the regulations.

Many Nigerians in recent times have turned to the use of aphrodisiacs to complement their personal and psychological inadequacies in enjoying their needs for intimacy with their sexual partners and restoring their self-confidence.

Adeyeye stated that the unregulated use of aphrodisiacs has a lot of implications in the entire body system, including effects on the blood pressure of the body, pointing out “when you have a disproportionate flow of blood to a particular part of the body and lasting longer than normal, they tend to disrupt the normal flow of the circulatory system.”

She warned that aphrodisiacs could also interact with other drugs in the system, thereby exerting pressures on the liver and kidneys, especially when used with some herbal medicines that don’t have dosage and professional prescription.  

“The way the body system works, everything should function the way God designed it. When they begin to disrupt those functions over time it affects the imbalance and the ecosystem of how the body physiology works and can lead to unintended consequences,” she said.

Adeyeye, also said those who have certain health risks, like hypertension, or heart disease, are in danger as these drugs could stimulate more anxiety into the body system leading to changes in the physiology of the body and ultimately stroke or sudden stoppage of the heart.

“There are a lot of side effects. Every drug is a potential poison. Every drug has one side effect or the other. These are chemical products with side effects. In some cases there are associated Adverse Drug Reactions, which means it could lead to death or more serious organ damage depending on usage,” she said. She insisted that not all cases of sudden death are caused by ‘witches and wizards in the village’ but in most cases, they are caused by what people eat or drink carelessly.

In the spirit of Christmas and New Year festivities, Adeyeye urged Nigerians to eat right and drink right to avoid health complications after the annual events.

Also, the NAFDAC boss pointed out the recent development in which about 20 trailer loads of falsified and banned drugs and unwholesome food products worth over N3 billion were seized by the Agency at the Lagos Trade Fair Complex by its Investigation and enforcement directorate led by Barrister Kingsley Ejiofor.

She disclosed that some of the drugs impounded at the trade fair complex were performance-enhancing drugs, with many of them counterfeited.

“When something is counterfeited, the manufacturers don’t care about quality. They add what they are not supposed to add or add more than what they are supposed to add. Invariably, the user is the loser,” she said.

Adeyeye disclosed that the Agency has ordered 40 units of a detecting device, TRU SCAN, worth $70,000 each for use on the field to spot check the drugs in the Nigerian market. The device, she stated, will test both qualitative and quantitative efficiency of a drug including spot check on the chemical content and level and type of the drugs. She stated that NAFDAC is the first agency in the world to use the Tru Scan.

“This is part of the multifaceted approach we are adopting in fighting the preponderance of banned and falsified drugs in the country,” she said, blaming the menace on people that want to make a quick money at the expense of the health and lives of undiscerning consumers.

“We will ensure we minimize falsification of drugs to the level that will give a lot of confidence to the consumers,” she said.


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