Hydroxychloroquine has fetched news ” a much possible drug for coronavirus.” But wait a minute, hydroxychloroquine is not a proven treatment for coronavirus. In the last few days news churning out about an old malaria medicine, might be a potential key drug in treating the COVID-19.
India sourced Hydroxychloroquine-a malaria drug, did not suddenly come into the news. The drug has been making news since the US President Trump touting Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine-a related drug, as a much possible medicine or ” miracle” for the coronavirus effect in the US.
People buying nonperishable or emergency food items. And why all of a sudden cumulative demand aggregated? Has it ever been tested before? Is it working for COVID-19 patients?
Let’s comprehend it further,
What is hydroxychloroquine?
Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine both are used for treating malaria patients. Chloroquine was developed in 1934 while hydroxychloroquine was invented during the Second World War for providing an alternative having fewer side effects.
Both drugs are accessible as generics. These drugs have been regularly used for treating the symptoms of lupus- an autoimmune disease.
A report published in Atlantic, Yet it is not clear that how Hydroxychloroquine would result in treatment fo COVID-19 patients.
But, still many drugs are being tested including those that could stop viral replication, i.e. remdesivir and other drugs that may target the process the virus usually binds to human cells.
According to ZME Science, Chloroquine is being considered in preclinical models against chikungunya and Zika and also in trials as an antiviral for HIV-1/AIDS.
In India, according to the report, ICMR (Indian Council of Medical research) recommended that the drug ” hydroxychloroquine” is to be used in asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirm COVID-19 cases and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases.
The report also said that at the end of March, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommended that hydroxychloroquine be used and allowed doctors to prescribe it to the household contacts of a confirmed patient of COVID-19. However, the Centre said that the drug should only be taken if prescribed and it should not instill a false sense of security among the people.
Does Hydroxychloroquine safe for COVID patients?
9 April, still no coronavirus drug has developed. But a far-sighted claims been made by the US president trump and requested the Indian Govt to release demanded quantity of the malaria drug as soon as possible.
Trump has stated the possibility of the use of Hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus last Sunday “because it’s been used for a long time and therefore it’s passed the safety test.”
But that’s not an only side. There has been quite a potential evidence that the drug ” hydroxychloroquine” caused retinal damage or vision loss in some cases.
According to the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology), only about one to two percent of patients experience the retinal problems in the course of five-year treatment.
Hydroxychloroquine is commonly prescribed for the treatment because of less serious side effects on the patients than Chloroquine. The side effects of hydroxychloroquine may include nausea, blurred vision, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches.
Furthermore, Last month, the Mayo Clinic also issued urgent guidance that was advising the cardiac screenings of all patients taking chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
Can hydroxychloroquine be used to treat COVID-19?
Weeks ago, some French doctors published their observations about the experimentation with a drug ” Hydroxychloroquine” in a microbiology journal.
For decades, the doctors have been using hydroxychloroquine to treat malaria, notably which is not caused by a virus. In all 6 COVID-19 patients, the doctors used azithromycin with ” Hydroxychloroquine”. The azithromycin is also popular as “Z-pak”, an antibiotic that kills bacteria. The doctors reported that after 6 days of the course of medical treatment, all 6 people tested negative for the coronavirus.
A report from the hill “The small studies available to date suggesting that work has been flawed and are not conclusive. So the jury is out,” said Jesse Goodman, an attending physician, and professor at Georgetown University.
On March 28, the FDA also released an emergency authorization that allows the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 disease. Even still, the FDA suggesting it a final medication for the only patients “for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.”
Trump’s belief with certitude about the drug from the White House podium came after A french study of 24 patients. The study tested the azithromycin- the antibiotic with hydroxychloroquine.
The probability of Malaria drug use for coronavirus treatment may need more research or clinical trials.
The former FDA(Food and Drug Administration)commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted “If the drug combo is working its effect is probably subtle enough that only rigorous and large scale trials will tease it out,”
So what surged the controversy about the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus?
Trump’s instantaneous enthusiasm for the Hydroxychloroquine has ballooned the widespread shortage and hoardings. It all started the day, Fox News covered the Story about the use of the drug. Since then the president as been integrating all benefits to an unproven drug, while the top scientists expressing doubt about the drug’s effectiveness.
Yet, there has no potential scientific basis for Trump’s widespread enthusiasm about Hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients at this time.
“The president is talking about hope for people. And it’s not an unreasonable thing to hope for people,” Fauci, the administration’s top infectious disease expert added at a White House briefing.
Why all of sudden India reversed its policy and export Hydroxychloroquine to the US?
India is the biggest manufacturer of hydroxychloroquine -an anti-malarial drug. The drug is being touted potent agent in fighting against COVID-19.
The US president has requested India to resume exports of the expected drugs as regularly touted by him. Late-night the request coaked with a warning of retaliation over the decision India took a few days back.
On April 4, the Indian Govt has decided to impose a complete ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine. But the Indian government decided to reverse its policy quite before Trump reacts disproportionately.
Tuesday (April 7)
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Now, India will be supplying two key drugs – hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol – that are being used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients to countries -“badly affected” by the COVID-19.
“In view of the humanitarian aspects of the pandemic, it has been decided that India would license paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to all our neighboring countries who are dependent on our capabilities,” Mr. Anurag Srivastava, the MEA spokesman
He further added, “We will also be supplying these essential drugs to some nations who have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic,” he added.