Coronavirus: Risks of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug, & lupus some use against covid-19

One of the discussions that the covid-19 pandemic has brought to the table is what are the drugs to treat and cure the disease.

hydroxychloroquine is one of the drugs being studied as a possible cure of coronavirus, It's risk is what many people don't know. One of the discussions that the covid-19 pandemic has brought to the table is what are the drugs to treat and cure the disease.
Coronavirus: Risks of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug, & lupus some use against covid-19
Coronavirus News Update: One of the drugs being studied as a possible remedy is hydroxychloroquine.
It is an immunomodulator that has been used for decades for the treatment of malaria.
It is also used to treat lupus and severe arthritis.
It is usually called by the name of its base compound, chloroquine, but it and hydroxychloroquine have chemical compositions and medical uses that are not exactly the same.
Although hydroxychloroquine has been subjected to some studies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, so far ’there is no good quality evidence’ to show that it is effective against covid-19, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warns in a report on April 6.
Until there is strong evidence, PAHO calls on national governments to prevent self-medication, as ‘the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine without following current guidelines and recommendations can have adverse effects, including serious illness and death.’
What may be these adverse effects of this drug that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, has pointed out as a possible cure for the coronavirus on several occasions?

Side effects of chloroquine

Among the unwanted side effects that hydroxychloroquine tends to cause in some patients who use it to cure other diseases are headache (headache), dizziness, loss of appetite , upset stomach, diarrhea or stomach pain, vomiting, and rash (rashes on the skin), indicates the US National Library of Medicine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say hydroxychloroquine is a drug relatively well tolerated or and malaria patients can reduce side effects such as prior to the ingest the drug together with a meal.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed that it has not approved any pharmacological treatment for covid-19.
However, several experts warn of other effects that can be more lethal.

Heart problems

The Mayo Clinic, in the US, warns in a March 25 statement that the antimalarials hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as well as the HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir ‘have a known or possible risk of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.’
At the cellular level, some medications, such as hydroxychloroquine, explains the clinic, ‘block one of the critical potassium channels that control the heart's electrical recharge system.’
‘This interference increases the possibility that the heart rhythm could degenerate into dangerous erratic heartbeats, resulting in sudden cardiac death,’ he says.
The clinic recommends that patients receiving treatment with these drugs be monitored with electrocardiograms (ECG).
In its April 6 report, PAHO also reports on patients who suffered heart problems while consuming hydroxychloroquine to treat other diseases.
Testing to really understand how well it works can take anywhere from a month to a year.

Covid-19 patients

The Center University Hospital (CHU) in Nice, France, had to suspend tests with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (a compound that is usually combined with) in a covid-19 patient who suffered cardiac complications after taking both medications, according to the doctor. Émile Ferrari, CHU cardiologist to the Nice-Matin newspaper on April 7.
‘When hydroxychloroquine is administered alone, the cardiac risk is very low. But azithromycin that is prescribed in combination with hydroxychloroquine against covid-19 also causes these abnormalities,’ said the doctor.
‘The cardiological risk is increased, all the more reason, if there are other associated medicines that have the same undesirable effect, if the oxygenation of the blood is not performed well or if the potassium in the blood is low,’ he added.
‘If these drugs are prescribed, they should be monitored with electrocardiograms,’ he said.
The French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) warns in an April 10 statement about the ‘undesirable’ effects that hydroxychloroquine, as well as lopinavir-ritonavir, can cause in some people.
‘We analyzed 53 cases of adverse cardiac effects (out of a total of approximately 100 patients evaluated since March 27), of which there were 43 cases with hydroxychloroquine, alone or in combination (with azithromycin),’ says ANMS.

Hydroxychloroquine is consumed orally, usually in pills.

This agency details that of the total, there were four deaths and a dozen disorders of the electrocardiographic rhythm, among other symptoms.
‘This initial evaluation shows that the risks, particularly cardiovascular, associated with these treatments are very present and potentially increase in patients with covid-19,’ says ANMS.


The WHO has not approved the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment of the new coronavirus.
But he announced on April 8 the launch of an international clinical trial, called ‘Solidarity,’ to test the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and other drugs against covid-19.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (USA) authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine on March 28 for adults and adolescents hospitalized with covid-19 and unable to participate in a clinical trial.
President Trump has been very optimistic about the use of hydroxychloroquine in combination with other drugs for the treatment of covid-19.
In a statement dated April 7, the US CDC detail that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are being tested in clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of patients with mild, moderate and severe covid-19.
The Mayo Clinic acknowledges that ‘in laboratory tests, hydroxychloroquine can prevent the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses (which cause covid-19) from attaching and entering cells.’
 ‘If these antiviral abilities work the same way in animals and humans, the drug could be used to treat patients and limit the number of deaths from covid-19,’ he says.
‘Ultimately, the comparison of risks and benefits depends on whether hydroxychloroquine, with or without azithromycin, is really an effective treatment against covid-19,’ says the clinic.

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