Should Hydroxychloroquine be used as treatment for Covid-19

DURBAN – Due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 and no possible cure in sight, many health care professionals have looked at other drugs on the market to combat the virus. One of the most popular drugs is Hydroxychloroquine. This drug has been used in India to treat severe cases of Covid-19 however, this drug has not been approved for the treatment of Covid-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is a prescription drug that is used to treat malaria and in some cases lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. This drug is used to kill the parasites that causes malaria. It is unclear, how the drug actually works, however, it is believed that Hydroxychloroquine can affect how your immune system functions.

Like most drugs, there are mild and severe side effects to Hydroxychloroquine. One of the severe side effects that have been published in a medical journal called The Lancet, stated that patients treated with Hydroxychloroquine could develop serious heart arrhythmias. This is backed by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), explaining that if Hydroxychloroquine is taken outside of a medical facility.

There is much debate around this antimalaria drug and it depends on which side of the world you are siding with. The Western part of the world is deeming Hydroxychloroquine as harmful and has increased mortality, however, on the Eastern part of the world, like in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recommended that Hydroxychloroquine be taken with chemoprophylaxis (a type of drug used to prevent disease e.g. antibiotics) as a precaution by asymptomatic Covid-19 healthcare workers.

It is unclear whether this drug can actually be used for the treatment of Covid-19 as more tests are need to be conducted, however, the United States of America’s (USA) president believes this drug works. This has led to an increase in sales of Hydroxychloroquine within the USA. Hydroxychloroquine is available in multiple countries like USA, India, South and Central America and in countries in Africa.

 

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