Indian-American doctor says hydroxychloroquine should be given under supervision and side effects to be addressed |
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Indian-American doctor says hydroxychloroquine should be given under supervision and side effects to be addressed
PTI,  27 May 2020
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A renowned Indian-American doctor, Dr Bharat Barai said that hydroxychloroquine, is been given under medical supervision and if any side-effect are seen can be addressed. He acknowledged that the drug has become a target of politics in the US, which President Donald Trump took to keep away COVID-19.

In the last week, President Trump had disclosed that he was taking the antimalarial drug in spite of medical warnings about the possible serious side effects. The drug was taken by him to keep away the coronavirus infection. He had taken it after consulting the White House doctor.

Dr Bharat Barai said that he saw few media reports and doctors who criticized the President and intensified the side-effects of hydroxychloroquine. But taking hydroxychloroquine is one of the best uses of this medicine for prevention against the coronavirus.

Barai, an oncologist affiliated with the Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, said that all medicines have side effects and it is always the benefits versus risks analysis. Hydroxychloroquine is FDA approved medicine and has been used for many years in Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders patients. He further said that many of these patients had safely taken 1-2 tablets every day for years. Barai also said that if it is safe for these patients to take hydroxychloroquine daily for years, then for coronavirus, once a week prophylaxis or 14 days treatment for people with significant exposure or positive COVID testing is very beneficial. This should be done under medical supervision and if side effects occur, it can be addressed by the monitoring physician.

On Monday, the World Health Organization said that it will temporarily take out hydroxychloroquine from a global drug trial ongoing to find other possible treatments for the COVID-19. The UNs health body also said that experts will investigate data to evaluate the probable benefits and harms from this drug.

World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus referred regarding an observational study which was published in the Lancet last week on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and its effects on the COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized. The authors of the study stated that among patients receiving the drug, when it is used alone or along with a macrolide, they projected a higher mortality rate. Ghebreyesus said repeating that these drugs are established as safe for use in autoimmune diseases or malaria patients.

But Barai told PTI in an interview that politics over hydroxychloroquine is being played with people’s lives. Barai further said that chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine has a very long terminal half-life of 45-55 days. He explained that hydroxychloroquine is a very effective medicine in the coronavirus treatment except in patients with advanced stage of the coronavirus infection and heart ailments. A large number of doctors in New York and throughout US are using the combination medicines of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for the treating seriously ill patients with coronavirus, as there is no other known effective treatment.

The second appropriate use of hydroxychloroquine is to administer the medicine daily for 7-14 days immediately when a person tests positive.

The French small study demonstrated that using hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, showed that almost all the patients turned to negative in less than a week, avoiding SARS or the ventilators.

Last month, India exported 50 million hydroxychloroquine tablets at Trumps request, to treat the COVID-19 patients in America, which is the worst-hit country by the pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University tracker, US has more than 98,000 deaths and above 1.6 million confirmed cases of the COVID-19.

Source: The New Indian Express

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