COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine not suitable to treat disease – IDSA

The Infectious Disease Society of America has warned that hospitals should drop the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus treatment.

This was announced by the Society’s guidelines on COVID-19 treatment published on Friday, which recommends that the drug should be dropped along with other antibiotics like azithromycin.

It corroborates an earlier warning by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), reported by Nairametrics in June, that it had not authorized the use of Chloroquine for treatment of CCOVID-19. Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, while reacting to media reports that suggested that chloroquine could protect people from the coronavirus disease or treat patients that were already infected with the disease, advised against it.

Ihekweazu said, “Nigerians should please remember that the use of chloroquine and its derivatives for the management of COVID-19 disease has not been validated and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

“There have been promising results by researchers but until then, the drug is not approved for use for COVID-19 treatment. 

“Nigerians should know that self-medication can cause harm and lead to death.” 

IDSA’s panel revealed in the report that chances of any benefit related to the drug for the treatment of virus is very unlikely, “even if additional high-quality data would become available.”

The group recommends that people who have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19, be treated with the combination of lopinavir/ritonavir only in the context of a clinical trial.

For patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms, they suggest glucocorticoids rather than no glucocorticoids and remdesivir over no antiviral treatment, while for patients with hypoxemia who need supplemental oxygen, the group advises against the use of glucocorticoids.

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