The UT Administration on Wednesday circulated a health advisory against the consumption of hydroxychlorinique (HCQS), a derivate of the antimalarial drug chlorinique, as prophylactic for COVID-19.
Though HCQS drug is seen as a potential prophylactic and curative drug for COVID-19 pandemic across the world now, whether the drug is truly effective and safe for treating COVID-19 patients is yet to be scientifically proven. Furthermore, there is evidence of the severe, even fatal, side-effects of the drug. Recently, an anaesthesiologist from Assam, who was consuming HCQS as a preventive medicine whilst treating COVID-19 patients, died a week after consuming 400 kilograms of HCQL. Since HCQL is linked to increase in heart rate and the doctor died of a heart attack, there is suspicion that his HCQL consumption led to his death.
HCQL advised for healthcare workers
Despite reports of its severe side-effects, the drug has been previously recommended by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) as a prophylactic for asymptomatic healthcare workers who are working closely with COVID-19 patients and asymptomatic primary and household contacts of positive COVID-19 patients.
In hospitals, such as the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, HCQS is administered to healthcare workers with their consent due to the threat of its potentially adverse side-effects. The drugs are also administered to COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms but again with their consent. “These are only administered with consent. This and drug azithromycin are only administered with the consent of the patient,” claims Dr Jagat Ram, director of PGIMER.
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