Hydroxychloroquine advocated by govt to treat coronavirus no longer over the table drug, you need a prescription

The Central Government on Friday directed the sale of hydroxychloroquine in accordance with the conditions for sale of drugs specified in Schedule H1 to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, 1945.

Under the rule, these drugs cannot be sold unless an individual has a prescription issued by a Registered Medical Practitioner and self-medication of the drug can be dangerous.

 

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Government issues Gazette notification to regulate and restrict the retail sale of any preparation containing the drug Hydroxychloroquine, having been satisfied that the drug is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic #COVID2019 in public interest

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Usually, drugs under this category include antibiotics and other powerful combination drugs.

On Monday, the National Task Force constituted by the Indian Council of Medical Research that is tackling the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS-COV-2 infection for people with a high-risk of contracting the disease.

In case of suspected or confirmed cases, the dose, according to the task force, comprises 400 mg twice a day on Day 1, followed by 400 mg once week for the next seven weeks. In case of asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases, the dose is 400 mg twice a day on Day 1, followed by 400 mg once weekly for the next three weeks.

Besides India, who is the latest to use the drug, US, Jordan and France have advocated the use of hydroxychloroquine. The French study suggested that if hydroxychloroquine may be beneficial if taken with an antibiotic mechanism for fighting the infection. However, the French research involved a sample size of 24 people, which is too small a sample size given how far this pandemic has spread across the world.

But the biggest challenge is the availability of the drug. Government authorities in their circular have said that only high-risk cases need to buy the drug. With monsoons approaching, overconsumption of hydroxychloroquine – which is predominantly a drug used o treat malaria – may develop a resistance against the disease.

 

 



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