Hydroxycholoroquine COVID-19 Trials Stopped: Why WHO suspends HCQ for Coronavirus Treatment? - 5 Reasons

Hydroxycholoroquine COVID-19 Trials Stopped by the WHO: Check here why the WHO halted the trials of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drug for the treatment of Coronavirus.

Created On: May 28, 2020 11:03 IST
Hydroxycholorquine Trials
Hydroxycholorquine Trials

Hydroxycholoroquine Trials: The World Health Organization (WHO) has temporarily put on hold the trials of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) over the safety concerns. The move came after a study published by The Lancet indicated that the COVID-19 patients given with the HCQ drug had higher mortality rates than others. Check here what are the other reasons that prompted the WHO to suspend the trials and use of hydroxychloroquine.

The WHO will now be reviewing the data of the Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 treatment such as HCQ and seven other studies conducted globally on the drug. The WHO will conduct the speedy review of HCQ trials in mid-June 2020. The final decision on the use of drug will be announced post the review by the Data Safety Monitoring Board of WHO.

What is Solidarity Trial?

WHO has launched the "Solidarity" initiative for the clinical trials of drugs and vaccines for effective treatment of COVID-19. The Initiative was initially looking into these four drugs: HCQ, remdesivir, Ritonavir/Lopinavir and Lopinavir/Ritonavir/Interferon Beta 1a.

ICMR Statement on suspension of HCQ trials by WHO

While the WHO suspended the trials of the drug, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that there are no major side effects of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and it should continue to be used in India as preventive treatment for novel Coronavirus.

5 Reasons Why WHO suspended Hydroxycholoroquine Trails?

Reason 1: Safety of Patients

The use and trials of Hydroxycholoroquine drug as a Coronavirus treatment have been suspended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) due to safety of patients.

Reason 2: Use of HCQ limited to Clinical Trials

The WHO had recommended the use of drug only for clinical trials and treatment of COVID-19 patients. The drug was never recommended to prevent the virus. The WHO was concerned about the people medicating themselves with HCQ without any medical guidance or expert opinion.

Reason 3: Increased chances of death

A recent study published in The Lancet indicated that the use of HCQ could be dangerous for COVID-19 patients and increase chances of their death. The study pointed that the drug when taken alone or with  macrolide could lead to higher mortality rate and irregular heartbeats among COVID-19 patients.

Reason 4: Questions over its efficacy

India exports the Hydroxycholoroquine to various countries including the United States. Many have raised questions against the efficacy and safety of Hydroxycholoroquine, that has been named as the "wonder drug" by US President Donald Trump. Many countries suspended the use of HCQ following The Lancet report.

Reason 5: Use of HCQ restricted for healthcare Professionals

The ICMR of India has restricted the use of HCQ drug for medical staff and healthcare Professionals of the country for their safety under strict supervision. The drug was not yet recommended for the COVID-19 patients. The drug was recommended for asymptomatic healthcare workers working in containment zones/non-coronavirus hospitals & areas.

What will happen to people who are currently enrolled for hydroxychloroquine trial?

COVID-19 Patients or people who have been given the hydroxychloroquine treatment will continue to receive it till they finish their course of treatment.

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