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Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ): Why is it Important for Covid-19?

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Dashamlav | 16 April 2020 (अंतिम बदलाव: 29 June 2020)

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a is a medicine for preventing and treating malaria. Medical professional use HCQ in areas where malaria remains sensitive to chloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine is also used in treatment of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, among others. However, recently it came to prominence due to its possible effectiveness in treatment of Covid-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Brand Names of Hydroxychloroquin

HCQ is available in market as hydroxychloroquine sulphate under the brand names like Plaquenil, Quineprox, Hydroquin, Dolquine, Quensyl, Quinoric. In India, HCQ is available under brand names like Axemal, Bioquin-200, Deng, Hcqs, Hqtor, Hydrocad, Hydroquin, Hydrosulf, Imulast, Orthokind, Oxcq, Qdmrd, Rhq, Rutor and ZY q.

Hydroxychloroquine sulphate is administered as a tablet through mouth. Common side effects of HCQ include vomiting, headache, changes in vision, and muscle weakness.

Chemical formula of Hydroxychloroquine  is C18H26ClN3O. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.

India is the largest producer of hydroxychloroquine.

Updates on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in Covid-19 Treatment

  • 16 April 2020: To this date, India has approved export of HCQ to 55 countries. Of these, 21 countries will buy the medicine while others will get it as grant from India.
  • 15 April 2020: Pakistan seeks Hydroxychloroquine from India to curb the Coronavirus pandemic: OpIndia
  • 15 April 2020: CNBC reported: US clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine hit ‘warp speed,’ could show in weeks whether it works on coronavirus
  • 15 April 2020: CNN reported : A French study found that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t help patients with coronavirus.
  • 11 April 2020: India approved the first list of countries which will receive HCQ from India. These countries are: USA, Spain, Germany, Bahrain, Brazil, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic. Following will the share that countries will get from India:
    • USA: 3.58 million tablets + 9 metric tonne API (active pharmaceutical ingredient)
    • Bangladesh: 2 million tablets
    • Nepal: 1 million tablets
    • Sri Lanka: 1 million tablets
    • Bhutan: 2,00,000 tablets
  • 10 April 2020: India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that India needs about 1 crore (10 million) hydroxychloroquine tablets whereas a total of 3.28 crore (30.28 million) hydroxychloroquine tablets available at present.
  • 09 April 2020: India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that hydroxychloroquine should be given only for patients and doctors who are exposed to the infections. This drug is harmful for cardiac patients.
  • 07 April 2020: India partially lifted ban on the export of anti-malarial drugs, including HCQ
  • 07 April 2020: US President Donald Trump warned India of “retaliation” if ban on export of hydroxychloroquine was not lifted.
  • 05 April 2020: US President asked India to send HCQ supply to the USA
  • 25 March 2020: India banned export of HCQ and several other drugs.
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