Pharmacy Board takes tougher stands, bans Coco Samba

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By Alfred Koroma

The Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone has banned the sale and consumption of Coco Samba, a herbal product widely sold in the country. The decision follows investigation into the safety and quality of the product.

In a press statement, Pharmacy Board said Coco Samba and other herbal products such as Olekoko Akson Bitters, Oga Abeg and Good Time Natural Herbal Formula contain over dose of Sildenafil Citrate

Sildenafil, according to the Board, is a prescription drug, mainly used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction of pulmonary arterial hypertension. It usual prescription dose is 50 – 100mg.

But Coco Samba and the other products banned contain a heavier dose of the drug that has the tendency to cause life-threatening effects such as significant drop in blood pressure, visual disturbances, headache, dizziness, chest pain, painful and prolonged erection that may cause permanent damage to the male reproductive organ.

 â€œWe encourage the public to stop the consumption of these harmful products and report any individual or institution found marketing these products,” Pharmacy Board says in a press statement published on the 20th of February, 2024.

The press statement also encourage the public to report any side effect relating to the product to Pharmacy Board. But critics believe the medical board has acted too late as the product has been widely sold and consumed.

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