COIMBATORE: Considering the side effects of anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), including vision impairment and heart attacks, doctors with the ESI Hospital, Coimbatore, are not administering to COVID-19 patients having cardiac illnesses and co-morbid conditions.
Hospital Dean A Nirmala said they are aware of the adverse effects of the HCQ drug. Although medicines prescribed to the COVID-19 patients are at the discretion of physicians, those having unstable health conditions would not be given combinations of these three drugs -- HCQ, Azithromycin (antibiotic), and Oseltamivir (anti-viral drug).
Besides, Zinc and Vitamin-C tablets are given to all patients to boost their immunity. Paracetamol is administered only to those having fever, she explained.
A few doctors said the HCQ drug might alter the pH level in the blood that eventually results in protein degradation. Usually, it is administered to patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Refuting claims that the HCQ drug might lead to severe health complications, a senior official with Department Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Chennai requested people not to fall prey for such rumours.
“Anti-malarial, anti-biotic, and anti-retroviral drugs are administered to the COVID-19 patients after thoroughly studying their health conditions,” the official added.