Each day, more and more people are testing positive for coronavirus worldwide. This is creating a panic among everyone and the government, health organizations, doctors and scientists are getting desperate by the hour to find a way to treat this ever-growing virus. A new study has made its way to the table i.e. the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment against COVID-19, the disease caused by a coronavirus.
Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that is known to cure malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (both are autoimmune diseases). This drug controls the overactive immune system. But scientists are still skeptical about this drug as there is no strong evidence which proves that this drug has cured COVID-19 patients. Studies and researches have been carried out in laboratories to analyze and understand the reaction of hydroxychloroquine in the human body.
One lab test was conducted which claimed that this drug prevented the virus from entering cells. But this doesn’t guarantee the same results on the human body too. Hydroxychloroquine is being used on patients in France and China to find out the effectiveness of this drug but no strong evidence has been established.
The drug received attention as it fairly reduced the recovery period of virus-infected patients. Studies are trying to see the effect of hydroxychloroquine alone and also in combination with azithromycin which earlier showed to reduce the level of virus.
The demand for hydroxychloroquine is surging even though there is no evidence that it is an effective remedy to cure COVID-19 patients. The US President, Donald Trump has been actively tweeting about this drug. In one of his tweets, he wrote that this drug is “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine.” With no prior knowledge or evidence, Trump released this information that this drug can do wonders.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a renowned American physician, and immunologist. He has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci is not in favor of this drug. He said he would not be spending any money on the drug and disregards any theories which imply that hydroxychloroquine could treat coronavirus. He said their team is working on other drugs and clinical trials to develop an effective treatment course against the infection.
The side effects of hydroxychloroquine are quite dangerous. It can cause heart rhythm problems, low Bp, muscle or nerve damage, and blurred vision. Other side effects include nausea and fatigue.
Some cases have highlighted the efficacy of this drug in treating the infected patients but studies and trials are still trying to discover other dimensions and effects of the drug to establish whether hydroxychloroquine can treat COVID-19 or not.