ICMR’s task force recommends use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment
The National Task Force constituted by the Indian Council of Medical Research to tackle COVID-19 pandemic has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat high-risk coronavirus cases.
The task force has recommended the use of the hydroxy-chloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection among select individuals.
Who is eligible to be treated using hydroxychloroquine?
Hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat asymptomatic healthcare workers, who are involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. It can also be used to treat the asymptomatic household contacts of the positive COVID-19 cases.
Who cannot be treated with Hydroxychloroquine drug?
The Hydroxychloroquine drug is recommneded to treat coronavirus among children under the age of 15 years. It should also not used on people with known case of retinopathy or known hypersensitivity to hydroxychloroquine and 4-aminoquinoline compounds.
How much dose of the drug would be required to treat COVID-19 cases?
1. The asymptomatic healthcare workers who have been involved in the care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases can be given 400mg of hydroxychloroquine twice a day on Day 1 and then 400mg once in a week for the next seven weeks. The drug has to be taken with meals.
2. The asymptomatic household contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases need to be given 400mg twice on Day 1 and then 400 mg once in a week for the next three weeks. It is supposed to be again taken with meals.
Hydroxychloroquine: Key considerations
• The drug can be given only through prescription of a registered medical practitioner.
• It is advised to consult a physician for any adverse event or potential drug interaction before taking it.
• The intake of hydroxychloroquine should be coupled with proper lookout for adverse drug reactions through selfreporting using the Pharmacovigilance Program of India app or helpline.
• In case, anyone develops symptoms while taking the drug then he/she should immediately contact a health facility, get tested and follow standard treatment protocol.
• The asymptomatic contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases should maintain home quarantine as per the guidelines even if they are taking hydroxychloroquine.
The Hydroxychloroquine drug has been found to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection during the laboratory studies.