FACTS ABOUT CHLOROQUINE TREATMENT FOR COVID-19
Updated: May 10, 2020
FDA said OK for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate for hospitalised patients infected with COVID-19. EUA allows the physicians and patients to have the facts sheets for using these two products for COVID-19.
EMA has also suggested using these products only in the patients who are enrolled in the clinical trials and national emergency use programs. EMA also suggested that these products are indicated for various immunological diseases, especially lupus, shortage shouldn’t come for these patients.
In India, the government’s research body suggested that these products are experimental and can be used in an emergency only.
Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia have authorised the use of these products for COVID-19.
On April 17, 2020, Lancet published an article suggesting that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can be effective against COVID-19. The reports say that the product can increase the anti-inflammatory activity of the body. These drugs were suggested for prophylactic use as well. However, the article also cautioned about the lack of support from clinical trials and adverse events.
Lack of robust clinical trials raise doubts on the efficacy of the product.
Studies in Brazil were stopped prematurely because of adverse events.
China, the country in which the virus has originated, reported almost 15 clinical trials. Chinese commentary said that these products were efficacious against COVID-19. However, lack of proper results raised concerns over the use of the product.
Unregulated use might cause severe adverse events.
The product has severe adverse events, especially related to the heart. Cardiologists had concerns regarding the use of the product. The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Heart Rhythm Society guidance have considerations on the use of products, especially in patients who have cardiovascular implications.