Is hydroxychloroquine a miracle drug or a death pill?

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, India Published: May 25, 2020, 09:01 PM(IST)

Pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a tray Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

According to a study published by one of the world’s most oldest and best known medical journal, Lancet, it raises the risk of death.

Anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which is being touted as the cure for the coronavirus pandemic by several experts, is under limelight for the wrong reasons.

According to a study published by one of the world’s most oldest and best known medical journal, Lancet, it raises the risk of death.

Also read: Trump's magic drug hydroxychloroquine may be killing coronavirus patients across the globe: Study

The researchers in the paper believe that the drug should no longer be administered on patients, unless in a research setting.

They took into account 96,000 patients across 671 hospitals between the time period of December 2019 - April 2020.

They found that the fatality rate was much higher among people who were given the drug as opposed to those who weren’t. One out of six patients on hydroxychloroquine died. While only one out of 11 patients not taking the drug dead.

Many patients who were given hydroxychloroquine also recorded cardiac arrhythmias, which makes the lower chamber of the heart to beat irregularly.

Almost 8 per cent of the patients who were being treated with hydroxychloroquine alongside an antibiotic developed irregular heartbeats, as opposed to 0.3 per cent patients who were not given the drug.

Despite the reservations from the scientific community, India continues to use the drug both for treatment and as a post-exposure preventive measure.  
In fact, India is one of the largest makers of this drug and is exporting to 55 other countries.  
The Indian authorities have recently revised their guidelines.  
Use of the drug has to be preceded by an ecg that vulnerable groups will not be given the drug.  

While India is following a strict protocol for hcq, some leaders are pushing for the use of drug without any safeguards.

Number one on that list is US President Donald Trump who publicly declared that he is using it after getting a prescription from his doctor.

On the second spot is Brazilian Presient Jair Bolsonaro who said he approved the drug because ''if i were to wait for a protocol, scientific proof, thousands will die.''

However,  leaders are pushing for hcq because, it’s the cheapest and most widely available drug.  
According to some estimates, it can be made for as little as one dollar a day.  
But, people should not blindly follow them because since half knowledge is more dangerous than a pill.  
They should listen to their doctors, follow their advice and prevent from self-medication.  


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