x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

More pain medication added to controlled list

Four new drugs have been added to the controlled narcotics list, and now require a prescription to be used legally.

ABU DHABI // The list of controlled prescription drugs has become a little longer after four medicines used to treat anxiety and pain were added this week.

Orbifen, Tramadol hydrochloride, Trihexyphenidyl and Kemadrin were moved into the prescription-needed category to prevent their abuse, the Ministry of Health said.

"Those drugs are already there to be used by the patients, through the concerned doctors. But if there is an abuse of these drugs by the youth, the teenagers, and also by the adults, without prescription, the law now can take action against them," said Dr Amin Hussain Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary of the ministry's medical affairs and licensing department.

The ministry had recorded only a few cases of people abusing Tramadol, Dr Al Amiri said.

The addition of the four drugs to the controlled prescription list will combat abuse, he said.

"They can go to different doctors, at the same time, and use a big quantity of those drugs. Sometimes, they can bring the drugs with their luggage from outside the country, which is not allowed. It's illegal.

"Whenever we used to see that they had some quantities with them, we were not able to take action against them because these drugs were not controlled."

Anyone found in possession of the drugs without a prescription may face a year in jail.

zalhassani@thenational.ae