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Thursday, September 24, 2020

50+ Banned Drugs, Food and Cosmetics in Nigeria

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The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is in the body in charge of controlling food drugs and cosmetics in Nigeria.

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The NAFDAC was first established by Decree No. 15 of 1993 as then amended by Decree No. 19 of 1999.

Today, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act Cap N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 to take charge of regulating and controlling the importation, manufacture, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of Food, Packaged Water, Cosmetics, Drugs, Medical Devices, Detergents and Chemicals (collectively called regulated products).

The NAFDAC wasn’t officially established until October 1999. Since then, the agency has been on a mission to safeguard public health by making sure that only the right quality food, drugs, and other regulated products are imported, manufactured, advertised, distributed, sold, and used in Nigeria.

The sales of fake foods, drugs, and other products are still a problem that Nigeria has been unable to overcome. However, NAFDAC regularly plays its role in bringing to the public notice, foods, drugs, and other products that it has found to be dangerous.

Here is a list of products that have been banned by the national administration for food and drugs control:


  • Type: A pain-killer.
  • Reason for ban: Causes bone marrow depression.
  • Brand name: Novalgin


  • Type: Acidity, constipation.
  • Reason for ban: Causes irregular heartbeat
  • Brand name: Ciza, Syspride


  • Type: Anti-depressant.
  • Reason for ban: causes Irregular heartbeat.
  • Brand name: Droperol


  • Type: Antidiarrhoeal.
  • Reason for ban: Causes Cancer.
  • Brand name: Furoxone, Lomofen


  • Type: Painkiller, fever.
  • Reason for ban: Causes liver failure.
  • Brand name: Nise, Nimulid


  • Type: Antibacterial cream.
  • Reason for ban: Causes cancer.
  • Brand name: Furacin


  • Type: Laxative.
  • Reason for ban : Causes cancer.
  • Brand name: Agarol


  • Type: For cold and cough.
  • Reason for ban: Causes stroke.
  • Brand name: D’cold , Vicks Action-500, Procold, etc.


  • Type: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
  • Reason for ban: Cause bone marrow depression.
  • Brand name: Sioril, Buta, etc.,


  • Type: Anti-worms.
  • Reason for ban: Causes Nerve damage.
  • Brand name : Piperazine


  • Type: Anti-diarrhoeal.
  • Reason for ban: Causes damage to sight.
  • Brand name: Enteroquinol.

List of controlled drugs that are prohibited from being imported into Nigeria are as follows;

  • Amphetamine
  • Dexamphetamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Chlormezanone
  • Methaqualone
  • Methylphenidate
  • Pemoline
  • Phenmetrazine
  • Phencyclidine
  • Secobarbital
  • All medications prohibited by ministerial Administrative Regulation, eg. Phenylbutazone
  • Drugs and chemicals which will require authorization and permits to import and to clear from NAFDAC before importation.
  • Bulk Narcotics (the end-user manufacturers like codeine pholcodine only) finished
  • Narcotics can not be imported by any person or body, asides the Federal Ministry of Health.
  • All benzodiazepines such as:
  •  Diazepam
  •  Bromazepam
  • Clonazepam
  • Nitrazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Clobazam
  • Midazolam etc
  • Barbiturates
  • Phenobarbital
  • Thiopentone sodium e.t.c
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Such as: imipramine, clomipramine, Amytryptilline e.t.c
  • Other controlled drugs
  • Pentazocine
  • Ephedrine pseudoephedrine
  • Ergometrine, Ergotamine
  • chloramphenicol
  • Dipyrone
  • Saccharin (for toothpaste manufacturers only)
  • Caffeine
  • Lysergide/LSD-25
  • Mescaline Parheyl
  • Psiloein,Psilotsin Psiliocybine
  • Terrahydrocannabinols
  • Amobarbital
  • Cyclobarbital
  • Glutethimide
  • Pentobarbital
  • Secobarbital
  • Amfepramone
  • Barbital
  • Ethcylorvynol
  • Ethinamate
  • Meprobamate
  • Methylphenobarbital
  • Methyprylon
  • Phenobarbital
  • Pipradrol
  • SPA
  • Cobalt preparation
  • Cyclizine
  • Sulphamethoxydiazine
  • Sulphadimethoxine
  • Aminopyrine and Dipyrone
  • Acecarbromal
  • Carbromal
  • Bromosoval
  • Metallic and Its compounds
  • Hexachlorophene
  • Elipten
  • Meclozine
  • Bithionol
  • Imipramine
  • Efocaine
  • Neonovum
  • Xenazoic acid or Xenalamine
  • Dithlazanine iodide
  • Chlorophentermine
  • Cyclamates, Cyclohexylemine, and their derivatives
  • Chloramphenicol and its preparations
  • Caffeine
  • Ephedrine and it’s salt
  • Controlled solvents chemical substance that can only be imported and cleared with a permit
  • Acetic Anhydrate
  • Acetone
  • Anthranilic Acid
  • N-Acetyl-Anthranilic Acid
  • Ephedrine
  • Ergometrine- Ergotinine
  • Ergotamine
  • Ethyl Ether
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Isosafrole
  • Lysergic Acid
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone
  • 3, 4-Methylenedioxy
  • Phenyl-2- Propanone
  • 1-Phenyl-2- Propanone
  • Phenylacetic Acid
  • piperidine
  • piperonal
  • potassium permanganate
  • pseudoephedrine
  • Safrole
  • Toluene
  • Non-nutritive sweeteners, especially saccharin and cylamates, are not allowed in drug products.
  • Bleaching agents, e.g. hydroquinone, Mercury and its compounds are not allowed in cosmetic products.
  • Lanoline and Boric acid are not accepted in baby products.

The following are prohibited ingredients in Cosmetics

  • Chlorofluorocarbon
  • Chloroform
  • Chlorofluoroarbon propellants
  • Hallogenated salicylanilides
  • Hexachlorohpene
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Zirconium

The following food products are prohibited from being imported into the country either by ways of trade or otherwise;

  • i) Meat (whether frozen or not)
  • ii) Chicken (whether frozen or not)
  • iii) Fish (whether frozen or not except those caught and landed by vessels licensed and authorized by the appropriate Nigerian Authority).
  • iv) Potassium Bromate as bread improver is not permitted.
  • v) Use of non-nutritive sweeteners particularly saccharin and cyclamate in food product.


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  • Biapacryl
  • Captafol
  • Chlordane
  • Chlordimeform
  • DDT Dieldrine
  • Dinoseb & DinosedSalts
  • Ethylene Dichloride
  • Heptachior
  • Lindane
  • Parathion
  • Methyl Parathion
  • Phosphamidon
  • Monocroptophos
  • Methamidophos
  • Chlorobenzilite
  • Toxaphene
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • HCF Mixed Isomer BHC
  • EDB1,2 dichloromoethene
  • 2,4,5 dichlorophenoxy Acetic acids
  • Endrine
  • Mirex
  • Ethylene Dichloride
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Endosulphan
  • Delta HCH
  • Flouroacetamide
  • Methyl Bromide
  • Dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethan (DPT)
  • Dibromoehlors propann
  • Diallate (Anadex)
  • Monocrotophor
  • Paraquat Bicloride
  • Chlordane
  • Dinoseb(Dinitrobutyl phenol)
  • Delta H.C.H (1,2,3,5,6-Hexachlorocyclohexane (organochlorine)
  • Camma.H.c.h (benzene Haxachloride or lindane)
  • Aldrin
  • Diedrin (organonochlorine)
  • Texaopene (campoechlor)
  • Endrin
  • Heptachlor(oorganochlorine)
  • Pentachlorophenol


  • Blue Asbestor (Crocidolite)
  • White Abestor (Chrysolite)
  • Potasium Bromate
  • Nitrogen Trichloride
  • Diethyl Pyrocarbon
  • Monochloroacetic acid
  • Thiourea
  • Cobalt Salts & its derivatives
  • Polyoxyethylene-8-stearate
  • Oil of Calamus
  • Safrole
  • Cinnamyl anthranilate
  • Coumarin
  • Calamus and its derivatives
  • Dulcin (p-ethoxy-phenylurea)
  • Ethylene glycol
  • Nordihydro gualaretic acid (NDGA)
  • Caffeine (colour)
  • Acid fuchsine
  • Alkanet (Alkane)
  • Citrus Red No 2
  • Ponceau Sx
  • Ponceau 3R
  • Ponceau 6R
  • Red FB
  • Red 6B
  • Rose Bengal
  • Scarlet GN
  • Toney Red
  • Tetrabromofluoresein
  • Eosine
  • Tetrachloro-tetrabromfluresein
  • Calcium cabornate
  • Carbon black
  • Charcoal NF-XI
  • Ferrous sulphate
  • Cudbear logwood chips & extract
  • Ferric chloride
  • Safflower
  • FD & C Green No 1
  • FD & C Green No 2
  • Red No 1
  • Red No 4
  • FD & C violet No 1
  • Drug-Related Laws In Nigeria

Nigeria has several laws that control and regulate the manufacture, sales, and distribution of medications within its territory.

These laws include;

Poisons and Pharmacy Act, Cap 366 of 1990: The poisons and Pharmacy Act regulates the compounding, distribution, sale, supply and dispensing of medicines and offers different levels of control for various categories of medications and poisons.

Food and Drugs Act Cap 150 of 1990: The food and Drugs Act prohibits the sale of certain foods, cosmetics drugs, and devices as a treatment for some specific diseases. The Food and Drugs Act prohibits the exportation, importation, distribution, and sale of particular drugs.

It also forbids practices such as misleading labeling, packaging, and advertising, as well as the manufacturing of food and drugs in conditions that are unsanitary. It conveys the right to appoint food and drug analysts, and inspecting officers.

Counterfeit and Fake Drugs (miscellaneous provisions) Act, Cap 73 of 1990: This Act is one that forbids the production, manufacture, importation, sale, and distribution of any fake, adulterated banned or counterfeit drugs.

It also forbids persons to sell any medication in an open market without seeking permission from the appropriate authority. Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Decree 91 of 1992: It invalidated the Pharmacists Act of 1964.

This new decree set up the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria which was given the following responsibilities;

  • (a) To determine the standard of skill and knowledge required of individuals seeking to become registered members of the pharmacy profession.
  • (b) To establish and maintain a register of people who are qualified to practice as Pharmacists.
  • (c) To Prepare and review the code of conduct.
  • (d)To control and regulate the practice of the Pharmacy profession.

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that Nigeria stays free of fake medications and other products. If you found this list helpful, make sure to share and also leave a comment below.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.
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