A single dose of 75 milligrams (mg) of tramadol can produce euphoria similar to heroin, something the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) say poses serious danger to public health.
The Authority is concerned that despite the increased public education about the dangers of abuse of the drug, there were still unapproved quantities being sold in the open market.
“The FDA has approved only two different doses of the medicine, the 50mg and 100mg for sale,’ Mr Albert Ankomah, FDA Upper West Regional Head, said in a speech read on his behalf at a road safety campaign in Nandom.
“It is however, evident that unapproved doses such as the 120mg and 225mg are being sold on the streets.
These are very dangerous to our health, tramadol, even at 75mg single dose can produce euphoria similar to that from heroin.”
He added “now compare this to consuming a single dose of either 120mg or 225mg”.
Mr Ankomah expressed worry that some drivers abused legal drugs that had the potential to affect their mood during driving which posed serious risk to passengers, drivers and passers-by.
He said excess amounts, regular use or overuse of tramadol could lead to addiction and or trigger headache, dizziness, feeling anxious and seizure.
“Both tramadol and alcohol are central nervous system depressants and both slow down brain activity and function and can lead to confusion, loss of consciousness, brain damage and respiratory depression,” he added.
Mr Ankomah said the FDA was concerned about the abuse of drug and had taken steps to collaborate with other state agencies and stakeholders to stamp out the menace.
He called on pharmacists to help fight its abuse by helping to remove tramadol displaced at the point of sale or restricted its sale to clients with prescriptions from qualified persons.
The Good Heat Foundation, a local non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with National Road Safety Commission organised the road safety campaign to educate the public on the need to observe road signs and regulations in order to stay safe when using the road.