Claimed Can Overcome COVID-19, Hydroxychloroquine Has Serious Side Effects

Illustration of Hydroxychloroquine (Sonis Photography)

What is Hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine is claimed by some parties can overcome Covid-19. US President, Donald Trump also admitted taking the drug as a step to prevent coronavirus infection.

The use of hiydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat Covid-19 still requires clinical trials. In fact, most health experts also forbid the use of this drug.

Cardiologist from the Cleveland Clinic, Steven Nissen, and emergency care specialist Abhijit Duggal said the use of hiydroxychloroquine could cause serious side effects. That is why, this drug should not be consumed carelessly.

Benefits and Side Effects of Hiydroxychloroquine

Hiydroxychloroquin is a medicine for treating rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are autoimmune diseases. The disease occurs because the immune system is too active so that it attacks the joints.

As a result, the patient experiences swelling and pain in the joints. The use of hydroxychloroquine in these autoimmune patients can help regulate the immune system.

In addition, hydroxychloroquine has also been used to treat malaria. However, Nissen said the drug is no longer used because there are another drugs that provide better benefits with lighter side effects.

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According to Duggal, the use of hydroxychloroquine can cause various side effects, such as gastrointestinal symptoms and the risk of negative interactions with other prescriptions that may be used by patients.

“The most feared side effect is a heart rhythm disorder called ventricular tachycardia,” Duggal said.

Ventricular tachycardia can make a patient’s heart beat so fast and can make blood pressure drops. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen to every part of the body.

“This condition makes the heart rhythm chaotic and very difficult to treat,” added Duggal. Because of these side effects, arthritis patients should get close supervision when taking the drug.

Studies related to Hydroxychloroquine

Beside the dangerous of side effects, the use of hydroxychloroquine has not been tested in depth. In vitro studies or trials on artificial media show that the drug has the potential to overcome the coronavirus.

However, Duggal said the research was problematic because it was retrospective or did not yet have good control.

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“We don’t have good control over other factors to ensure the positive benefits of the drug,” Duggal said. Nissen also said that clinical trial results regarding hydroxychloroquine had not yet yielded promising results.

“There is even one study that found the use of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 patients can increase mortality,” Nissen said. Therefore, Nissen recommends that we must be careful with the use of hydroxychloroquin until there is comprehensive research into its benefits.

Duggal and Nissen also suggested stopping the use of hydroxychloroquin to overcome Covid-19. Because, there are many things that are not yet known about the benefits and side effects of this drugs.

“There are no data to support the use of hydroxychloroquine as a preventive drug or to overcome Covid-19,” said Dr. Duggal. In addition, serious side effects regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine require serious attention.


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