Don't use hydroxychloroquine medicine for coronavirus without prescription: ICMR1 min read . Updated: 25 Mar 2020, 09:56 AM IST
- Hydroxychloroquine is believed to work as a medicine for treating coronavirus patients
- Doctors say the drug can have major side effects on patients
NEW DELHI : In his address to the nation last night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked people to not take any medicine without the advice of a doctor. And now the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has warned against using a drug called hydroxychloroquine against coronavirus without medical prescription. Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-Malaria drug which is believed to work as a medicine for treating coronavirus infected patients as well.
ICMR's senior scientist Raman Gangakhedkar said, "Do not go for COVID-19 test just on suspicion or consume hydroxychloroquine medicine without a doctor's prescription because the medicine has its side effects."
Gangakhedkar also said that although the ICMR approved to give hydroxychloroquine in some cases but it was still at an experimental level.
"The empiric use of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS-Cov-2 infection is recommended only for asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases," he said.
Gangakhedkar added that the ICMR would not recommend the medicine for children below 15 years and elderly people above 60 years of age as it had many side effects on kidney and heart.
"There is sufficient access to testing so there is no need to panic. It is not just government's responsibility to keep you healthy but you will have to be responsible for your own health. Therefore, follow all the instructions of social distancing given by the government," said the doctor.
The Indian government has also banned the export of hydroxychloroquine after the the national task force for COVID-19 constituted by ICMR recommended the drug as a preventive medication.
"Hydroxy-chloroquine is found to be effective against coronavirus in laboratory studies and in-vivo studies. Its use in prophylaxis is derived from the available evidence of benefit as treatment and supported by preclinical data," the advisory said.