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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Hydroxychloroquine, The Malaria Drug And COVID-19 Treatment

While it is being increasingly debated about whether it is safe to use Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus, we bring to you an exclusive low-down on the medication:

Hydroxychloroquine is used for the prevention of malaria as well as treatment of patients with severe symptoms of the disease. It belongs to a class of drugs that are broadly known as antimalarials. Regarding Hydroxychloroquine, it is noteworthy that it functions by destroying those organisms that are responsible for causing malaria. This medication may also be helpful in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. However, what`s special about Hydroxychloroquine is that it can be useful in calming down an excessively active immune system. And it has been used for a long time in the prevention and treatment of malaria. Further, in the US, it is made available for sale as Plaquenil, which is the brand name of the medication in the country. Physicians can also recommend this medicine for off label use such as many are prescribing it for the treatment of coronavirus. 

Is Hydroxychloroquine Effective Against Corornavirus?

Here are certain small-scale studies that have led to contradictory outcomes.

A laboratory study concluded that the drug controlled the ability of the virus to enter the cells. Besides, a small study was undertaken in France and US President Donald Trump had stated that it had proved the effectiveness of the medicine. However, the results of the study are now considered to be doubtful as the journal that had published them has raised concern regarding the procedures used in the research. And a group of researchers from China reported that fever, pneumonia and cough were observed to improve sooner among 31 patients who were administered with the medicine in comparison with 31 other patients who didn`t receive the medication. However, it is notable that among the patients in the comparison group, fewer people had fever or cough. As the study came to a close, it was observed that four people in the group that didn`t receive the medicine had fallen prey to critical illness. Further, it is noteworthy that all these results were posted online and they were not assessed by other scientists or published in any magazine/periodical. And more research is being carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19.

Does Hydroxychloroquine Cause Side-Effects?

At times, this medication may lead to side-effects such as critically low blood pressure, heart rhythm problems and nerve damage. Further, patients taking this medicine are also at risk of suffering from side-effects such as appetite loss, headache, giddiness, pain in the stomach, vomiting, lack of muscle strength, hair loss, sleepiness, hearing impairment and several others.