Live Updates: COVID-19 Cases
  • World 20,148,509
    World
    Confirmed: 20,148,509
    Active: 6,419,121
    Recovered: 12,993,271
    Death: 736,117
  • USA 5,222,010
    USA
    Confirmed: 5,222,010
    Active: 2,379,692
    Recovered: 2,676,444
    Death: 165,874
  • Brazil 3,039,349
    Brazil
    Confirmed: 3,039,349
    Active: 819,620
    Recovered: 2,118,460
    Death: 101,269
  • India 2,266,954
    India
    Confirmed: 2,266,954
    Active: 641,333
    Recovered: 1,580,269
    Death: 45,352
  • Russia 892,654
    Russia
    Confirmed: 892,654
    Active: 180,972
    Recovered: 696,681
    Death: 15,001
  • South Africa 559,859
    South Africa
    Confirmed: 559,859
    Active: 137,977
    Recovered: 411,474
    Death: 10,408
  • Mexico 480,278
    Mexico
    Confirmed: 480,278
    Active: 105,515
    Recovered: 322,465
    Death: 52,298
  • Peru 478,024
    Peru
    Confirmed: 478,024
    Active: 132,932
    Recovered: 324,020
    Death: 21,072
  • Chile 375,044
    Chile
    Confirmed: 375,044
    Active: 17,563
    Recovered: 347,342
    Death: 10,139
  • Spain 361,442
    Spain
    Confirmed: 361,442
    Active: 332,939
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 28,503
  • Iran 328,844
    Iran
    Confirmed: 328,844
    Active: 23,586
    Recovered: 286,642
    Death: 18,616
  • UK 311,641
    UK
    Confirmed: 311,641
    Active: 265,115
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 46,526
  • Saudi Arabia 289,947
    Saudi Arabia
    Confirmed: 289,947
    Active: 33,270
    Recovered: 253,478
    Death: 3,199
  • Pakistan 284,660
    Pakistan
    Confirmed: 284,660
    Active: 17,799
    Recovered: 260,764
    Death: 6,097
  • Bangladesh 260,507
    Bangladesh
    Confirmed: 260,507
    Active: 106,632
    Recovered: 150,437
    Death: 3,438
  • Italy 250,825
    Italy
    Confirmed: 250,825
    Active: 13,368
    Recovered: 202,248
    Death: 35,209
  • Turkey 241,997
    Turkey
    Confirmed: 241,997
    Active: 11,169
    Recovered: 224,970
    Death: 5,858
  • Germany 217,563
    Germany
    Confirmed: 217,563
    Active: 10,403
    Recovered: 197,900
    Death: 9,260
  • France 197,921
    France
    Confirmed: 197,921
    Active: 84,761
    Recovered: 82,836
    Death: 30,324
  • Canada 119,723
    Canada
    Confirmed: 119,723
    Active: 4,755
    Recovered: 105,986
    Death: 8,982
  • China 84,668
    China
    Confirmed: 84,668
    Active: 802
    Recovered: 79,232
    Death: 4,634
  • Netherlands 59,194
    Netherlands
    Confirmed: 59,194
    Active: 53,037
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 6,157
  • Australia 21,407
    Australia
    Confirmed: 21,407
    Active: 9,217
    Recovered: 11,876
    Death: 314
  • S. Korea 14,626
    S. Korea
    Confirmed: 14,626
    Active: 663
    Recovered: 13,658
    Death: 305
  • New Zealand 1,569
    New Zealand
    Confirmed: 1,569
    Active: 21
    Recovered: 1,526
    Death: 22

Hydroxychloroquine no wonder drug for treating COVID-19, can be fatal: Experts

Author at TechGenyz Health
Hydroxychloroquine no wonder drug for COVID-19 patients
Hydroxychloroquine

As countries around the world explore the potential of hydroxychloroquine drug to treat COVID-19 patients, several experts have sounded a note of warning to say it is not a wonder drug and may even be fatal in some cases.

While frantic efforts are underway to develop a vaccine and doctors all over try and control the spread of the disease for which there is yet no cure, hydroxychloroquine, or HCQ, has emerged as a prime focus area of treatment.

This reliance on HCQ must immediately stop, the experts say, adding their voices to the growing debate to stress that there is no scientific evidence to prove that it is beneficial in treating COVID-19.

It is only on anecdotal evidence that doctors are using HCQ along with other antiviral medication (used in HIV and other viral infections) as empiric therapy to treat COVID-19 patients as there is no definite treatment available yet, said M C Misra, former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi and one of India’s top surgeons.

However, there have been reports of some patients developing cardiac arrhythmias due to hydroxychloroquine which can cause sudden cardiac death, Misra told PTI.

Yudhyavir Singh, a core member of AIIMS’ COVID-19 team deployed at the hospital’s trauma centre, agreed.

Globally, some deaths have been reported due to the administration of HCQ alone and along with azithromycin as well. HCQ blocks the potassium channel and potentially prolongs the QTc (heartbeat) with consequences of sudden cardiac arrest death and various arrhythmias. This has also been documented in prominent studies, he explained.

The assistant professor of anaesthesia at AIIMS said there are contradictory reports on HCQ usage for treating COVID-19.

As the pandemic spreads and the urgency for effective treatment of COVID-19 mounts, several countries, including the US, have started relying heavily on HCQ, majorly used in the treatment of malaria and rheumatoid-arthritis.

India has become the biggest supplier of the drug and has fulfilled large orders from countries such as the US, UAE and UK.

With US President Donald Trump touting the anti-malaria drug as a definite cure for COVID-19, his administration has stockpiled millions of doses of HCQ despite the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a safety communication regarding the known side effects of the drug.

The FDA said HCQ has been given Emergency Use Authorisation’ for the treatment of patients who have tested positive for coronavirus but its side effects include serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problems.

In India too, HCQ is being used by many hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients though there is no scientific proof of its benefit for the disease.

We are using HCQ among other drugs but ignoring its extreme hazardous side effects, Misra said.

In the first week of April, when coronavirus cases in India started to surge, a doctor in Assam who was put on a high dose of HCQ after he showed COVID-19 symptoms died of a cardiac arrest, he said.

Citing research from France in which one-half of COVID-19 patients was administered hydroxychloroquine drug while the other half was not, Misra said the recovery and outcomes of the two groups were the same.

Another study submitted in The New England Journal of Medicine on April 4, 2020, concluded that HCQ administration to the hospitalized SARS-CoV- 2 positive population was associated with an increased need for escalation of respiratory support, he said, adding that hydroxychloroquine was not a wonder drug.

COVID-19, which broke out first in China’s Hubei province, has caused havoc across the world, claiming the lives of more than 2.6 lakh people and infected over 37 lakh.

Ashraf Ganie, professor of endocrinology at Srinagar’s Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, described as brazen the manner in which HCQ was being projected as a cure for treating coronavirus.

HCQ can have serious cardiac side effects and cannot be used without prior evaluation, Ganie told PTI.

“There is no quality scientific evidence available, which can prove the efficacy of the drug in prevention or cure of COVID 19, added D K Mangal, director of the Centre for Health Systems and Policy Research in Jaipur’s IIHMR University. It should be used with precautions for patients with severe heart disease and require continuous monitoring of the QT interval. HCQ is known for its cadio-toxicity. Hence it should be used in health care settings only, he told PTI.

Rajesh Kumar, a doctor of Internal Medicine at Gurgaon’s Paras Hospital, said HCQ can also cause hypoglycemia in diabetes patients.

Career

Subscribe