Pethidine, a medicine also used as a drug was revealed to undermine users’ health as most of the addicted ones can get serious health problems.

However, this drug is currently used by medical practitioners to reduce the pain of patients but it is prohibited to take it without having any illness or pain.

Victims of such drug still bear effects after being addicted and what is worse is that they do not know where to seek for a help.

A man whose names were withheld by The Express News because of his security matters shared a testimony of the drug and how it is harmful to the health of users who became addicted.

Pethidine also known as meperidine and sold under the brand name Demerol among others, is a synthetic opioid pain medication of the phenylpiperidine class. (Photo U. Mike )


“Pethidine, as I know it is a drug as others which undermine the health of human being and this, should also be banned; someone can ask himself why this medicine is easily accessible by everyone. Basing on my knowledge, this drug is not easily accessible in other countries and I can ask why our country that is governed by laws failed to control this medicine,” he said.

In fact, the person I know has  a serious health problem which does not result from himself, but from a certain health center, the man was addicted by the medicine within four years as this is a complete drug, he is literate and had a very good job but due to the drug has failed to continue his work.

The man said that all the local rehabilitation centres also failed to handle the victim’s problem.

“My wish is that the ministry of health and others who have to advocate for health issues can take measures to limit easy access of this medicine everywhere in the country, and warn pharmacists to be careful while selling this medicine,” the man noted.

Centre Psychotherapeutic Icyizere in Kicukiro Frere de Charite (Photo U. Mike)

Yvonne Uwamahoro, is the director of Centre Psychotherapeutic Icyizere in Kicukiro which is a branch of Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital CARAES/NDERA for mental disorders said last year they received four people with difficulties of using Pethidine.

“They are few but if someone can make a research can find much more who have not yet appeared at hospitals to seek for a help because may be they do not have information that they can be cured,”

Uwamahoro said that ones who came to seek for a help used Pethidine, an injectable drug while others used tablets.

“There are some drugs in form of tablets used by people to gain sleep, there is another called ‘Diazepu’ used to cure illnesses but others use it to avoid stress.” She said.

Uwamahoro explains that a Pethidine user is characterized by the irregular performance of his/her actual work, and if the user is a student cannot attend the class regularly as he used to do before using Pethidine injection.  

 Spending money, stealing, unusual selling of properties especially for youth can also characterize Pethidine drug user.

However, Pethidine is given to someone who was stressed to help him/her becomes cool, it also reduces pain and the user gets asleep.

Every drug has a temporal role to the user but causes severe problems when adducted.

“In fact, there are several reasons one can use drugs, and are not all people who use them, I can advise users and their families that it is a serious problem and that this is an illness to take that, there are different hospitals to help one who is addicted are available, where they can assist one with counseling, using drugs when the user becomes addicted,” Uwamahoro explained.

Such drugs impact the user’s health, his/her family as well as the country.

Different hospitals like Ndera/CARAES, Cente Icyizere, Isange-Huye and in all district hospitals in mentor disorders’ department are ready to help the victim (user)

 “I have not yet done any research to know if the drugs are easily accessible but if it is true, my wish is that all these drugs that affect brain can only be served by a certified medical practitioner and medical can decide on any other drug which is not Pethidine to reduce patient’s pain. I also advise pharmacists to first take care of drugs before serving them to patients.” Said Uwamahoro.

Edmond Semana, an expert pharmacist in the ministry of health (MoH) says that Pethidine is known and is accepted on the list of other useful medicines in Rwanda.

Also known as Nipuldine and similar with Brarname/ Derinoror, and is classed among Narcotics drugs, the most warned drugs in Rwanda with a special law governing its importation and its issuance to patients.

The law 03/2012 of 15/02/2012 governing the use of drug abuse and their similar numerous drugs through its various articles, illustrates who is allowed to order such drugs and which hospitals are allowed to be served the drugs until the final consumer.

“Illegal use of Pethidine and other forms of medicines used like drugs are warned by the ministry of health, the article 17 of the law 03/2012 of 15/02/2012 states all people responsible to give rights on drugs use. They are given the authorization to order them and the maximum quantity to import.

Edmond Semana, an expert pharmacist in the ministry of health (Photo U. Mike)

Semana says that any medical practitioners who serve such drugs do that out of their responsibilities but the drugs are not currently easy to find.

He advises parents and the community to take the victim of a drug user to the hospital when they reveal he/she is showing unusual behaviours or knowing that the person used the drugs.

“We are going to sensitize the community on the effects of drug abuse and we will remind our medical practitioners to take care of the issuance of such drugs and I hope with joint efforts this problem will no longer exist,” Semana said.

 Posted by Urinzwenimana Mike 


The Express News  


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