The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has issued a warning about the indiscriminate use of performance-enhancing substances, also known as Aphrodisiacs, warning that they can cause strokes, organ damage, and even death.
Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, raised the alarm in her Christmas and New Year goodwill message to Nigerians, condemning the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs, or “Manpower” in local parlance, on the Nigerian market.
“Most performance-enhancing drugs are not registered with NAFDAC. They are brought into the country illegally. Producers and peddlers alike would not be doing what they are doing in supermarkets, social media platforms, and on the streets if they were registered” Adeyeye said.
She bemoaned the fact that many men have died as a result of using performance-enhancing drugs, with their families blaming their deaths on fictitious witches in the village.
The NAFDAC chief also called the product manufacturers’ claim that there are no side effects “false,” claiming that the majority of the products did not go through the Agency’s approval process.
She did, however, warn that the Agency would not back down in its pursuit of the peddlers of such dangerous drugs until they were brought to justice for violating the regulations.
“Intimacy, like the need for food and water, is a basic requirement in life.” Most people require intimacy in order to have a healthy sexual life, which determines their overall well-being. If a person’s sexuality is plagued by physical or psychological issues, it can undermine their self-esteem.
Adeyeye went on to say that there are manufacturing and quality guidelines in place, as well as mandated regulations that govern the production, importation, exportation, advertisement, and use of such products.
According to her, unrestricted use of aphrodisiacs has many implications in the entire body system, noting that the products could potentially affect the body’s blood pressure.
Adeyeye also cautioned that aphrodisiacs may interact with other drugs in the system, explaining that the liver is in charge of drug breakdown and that all waste is passed through the kidneys as a byproduct.
Internal organ damage can occur when these things are combined, especially with herbal medicines that don’t come with a dosage or a professional prescription. She warned, “It can harm the liver and kidneys, resulting in premature death.”
“The way the body system works, everything should function the way God designed it. When they begin to disrupt those functions overtime it affects the imbalance and the ecosystem of how the body physiology works and can lead to unintended consequences.
For those who have certain health risks, like people that are hypertensive, or people that have heart disease, there is more of anxiety that the drug could stimulate into the system, and with anxiety, that can lead to changes in the physiology of the body and can lead to stroke or sudden stoppage of the heart.
These happen in cases when men suddenly slump during sexual intercourse as reported in Rivers and Cross Rivers States recently.
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 its not all cases of sudden death that are caused by witches and wizards in the village; but in most cases they are caused by what we eat or drink carelessly.
She urged Nigerians to eat right and drink right to avoid health complications after the festive period.
Adeyeye recalled that over N3b worth of falsified and banned drugs and unwholesome food products were seized by the Agency recently at the Lagos Trade fair complex where no fewer than 20 trailer loads of such banned and unwholesome products were carted away by officers of the Agency’s 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. Worse still they are 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 however, disclosed that the Agency has ordered 40 units of a detecting device, TRU SCAN, worth 70,000 dollars each for use on the field to spot check the medicines. She explained: The device will show you whether a drug is 5mg or 50mg. Before, it would only show you that its X-drug, it will not show you the level. This device is both qualitative and quantitative!
NAFDAC is the first agency in the world, according to Adeyeye, to use the Tru Scan, which performs quantitative spot checks on the chemical content of medicines. It will display the drug’s chemical level.
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 quick money at the expense of the health and lives of undiscerning consumers.
We will ensure we minimise falsification of drugs to the level that will give a lot of confidence to the consumers.”