Posted on March 24, 2020, 3:28 PM IST
As the world battles to curb the growing number of infected citizens under the coronavirus pandemic, a new test shows that usage of Hydroxy Chloroquine has been successful in treating high-risk patients. The national task force for COVID-19 constituted by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has now recommended this anti-Malaria drug as a preventive medication for high-risk population.
Advisory has been issued for usage against only high risk population asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases. The protocol recommended by the National Task Force has been has been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) for restricted use in emergency situations.
"Hydroxy-chloroquine is found to be effective against coronavirus in laboratory studies and in-vivo studies. Its use in prophylaxis is derived from the available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by preclinical data," the advisory said.
This theory was well supported by US President Donald Trump and he tweeted the benefits of this drug which led to unprecedented hoarding by the citizens in a short span of time.
Tragically an Arizona man died and his wife was hospitalized after officials said they self-treated themselves on Sunday with a deadly home remedy for the new coronavirus, a popular fish tank additive that has the same active ingredient as an anti-malaria drug.
The drug, known as chloroquine phosphate or chloroquine, has been bandied about by President Donald Trump during White House briefings on the coronavirus pandemic as a potential “game changer” in the treatment of COVID-19.
The couple, who officials at Banner Health, a hospital system based in Phoenix, said were in their 60s and were from Maricopa County, quickly experienced side effects that included nausea and vomiting. They were not tested for the coronavirus.
The man died from cardiac arrest and his wife was initially listed in critical condition, according to hospital officials, who said Monday that the woman had been upgraded to stable condition and was expected to make a full recovery. Their names were not released.
Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in an interview Monday night that the couple’s attempt to self-medicate was a cautionary tale. “It’s incredibly dangerous and foolish for people to be doing this,” he said. “This is not going to be a magic pill for us to get us through this.”
Meanwhile, Mumbai-based Ipca Laboratories said in a March 21 securities filing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “has made exception to the import alert” for three of its facilities, allowing it to supply tablets as well as raw materials for making chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulphate.
The US is facing possible shortages of both drugs, which are also widely prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Hospitals have been stocking up on the treatment .
Citizens need to be aware that this drug hasn’t been successfully lab approved and hence consumption without proper medical prescription will only result in life threathing situations.