FDA warns against use of bleaching pills, creams and injectables

BY: Severious Kale-Dery

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has warned of dire health consequences for those using Glutathione, popularly called bleaching pills, creams and injectables.

It said users of the pills, creams and injectables could suffer side effects such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss and allergic reactions.

Other side effects associated with the use of the bleaching pills, it said, were renal failure, damaged lungs, toxic epidermal necrosis and exacerbated asthma.

At a press conference in Accra Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, said the authority had not registered those pills being sold on the open market.

She, therefore, advised the public to desist from patronising the bleaching pills, creams and injectables, since they had negative health implications for users.

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The press conference was held following an increase in the use of the creams, tablets, capsules, pills and injectables as skin lightening agents by consumers.

Caution to the public

“The authority is, therefore, asking the public not to patronise these products. Anyone who does so does that at his or her own risk, as the authority cannot assure their safety, quality and efficacy.

“The FDA would also like gain to caution the public, especially pregnant women and lactating mothers, that the safety of Glutathione has not been established in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

“The use of Glutathione and at the current dosage found on our market may likely cause serious health problems for them and their babies,” she cautioned.


Mrs Darko told journalists that the FDA had intensified the monitoring of border posts and market surveillance across the country to deal with the distributors.

“We have also embarked on a number of swoops nationwide and seized the products and a number of sellers have been arrested,” she added, saying the culprits were currently assisting the police in their investigations to establish how the products entered the country and who the distributors were.

On Tramadol and codeine-containing cough syrups, she commended the media for their sustained campaign to rid the nation of drug abuse.

Sustained media campaign

“I wish to take the opportunity to thank the media for the tremendous work they are doing to educate the public, especially the youth, on the dangers of abusing Tramadol.

“I was personally amazed at some of the revelations emerging from some of the media houses. I have followed with keen interest the reportage and sustained interest that media stations and houses across the length and breadth of the country have exhibited and we are proud of you,” Mrs Darko said.

She gave the assurance that the FDA, working together with the Pharmacy Council, the Ghana Police Service and other collaborating institutions such as the NACOB, would continue to do all that it could to ensure that Tramadol and codeine-containing cough mixture abuse and bleaching substances were dealt with.