Keeping in view the side effects incurred due to the popular painkiller Tramadol, Health Canada, a public health department of Canada, has reportedly decided to regulate its use as an opioid after witnessing the spike in the medicine since the last many years. Earlier, the U.S. administration and WHO had classified tramadol as an opioid. As per sources, the drug has now been promoted as a non-opioid in Canada for over a decade despite government concerns pertaining to drug overdose, abuse, and death.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the prescriptions for Tramadol increased by 30% over 2012-2016. Based on this data, Health Canada is considering categorizing the drug under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, that will subject tramadol to tight control, comprehensive reporting, and recordkeeping.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information has also depicted that all the opioid prescriptions in the country increased by 7% from nearly 20.2 million in 2012 to approximately 21.5 million in 2016. As per the study conducted by CIHI, six opioids contributed for over 96% of all opioid prescriptions, including codeine, tramadol, hydromorphone, oxycodone, morphine, and fentanyl.
Reports also claim that the total number of opioid doses distributed to residents in Canada came down from 238 million in 2012 to 226 million in 2016. It is projected that the declining rate in the demand for opioids will rise due to the knowledge about the adverse effects of these drugs. As per the Canadian public health agency, over 2800 individuals have died due to opioid medicine overdose in 2016, and many more may fall prey to the same.
As per the global medical reports, Canada ranks second across the world in the consumption of opioid drugs. The strategic move by the government authorities in Canada has thus been aimed to curb not only the drug overdose but also to control its growing consumption, cite reports.