Food & Drug Authority (FDA) prohibited the sale of sildenafil citrate, tablets known by the trade name Vega, without a physician's prescription.
The drugs are used to treat male impotence, but they cause side effects such as decreasing blood pressure.
"The drugs are imported illegally and didn't pass the authority's laboratory test," says Gezahegn Endale, the Authority's medicine inspection director. "The drugs cause cancer and eye problems."
The drug started to be noticed in the market beginning two years ago, and now the distribution is booming, according to the director. The Authority has called on the public to help inform law enforcement bodies if they witnessed the drug being sold.
The drug has proliferated widely in the Amhara, Somali and Southern Nations & Nationalities Peoples' regional states, according to the Authority.