Scientists all over the world are testing two drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for their potential as possibly treating illness caused by COVID-19. But now data has emerged negating the efficacy and safety of these drugs.
Even though earlier there were indications that these drugs will be effective in treating or preventing COVID-19 but now there are growing concerns regarding the impact of chloroquine and the closely related hydroxychloroquine on heart.
A chloroquine trial in Brazil was cut short while hospitals in Sweden have been cautioned against the use of these drugs for treatment of COVID-19. Also, the American cardiology groups have urged the doctors to be aware of the “potential serious implications”
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said that the safety profile for chloroquine may differ from hydroxychloroquine but when it comes to heart there is no reason to believe if one would be safer than the other.
Offit said, “In a better world, if we weren’t so panicked about this virus, we would wait and see if this drug had some value other than the President declaring that it has some value. If someone’s sick you can still hurt them.”
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventative medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville said, “Hydroxychloroquine has been used at least in the more developed part of the world very extensively for the treatment of lupus and such and it’s much safer.”
He added, “but there is this residual concern.”