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Govt. likely to revise norms for use of Azithromycin and Hydroxychloroquine in treating Covid-19 patients

The union health ministry is likely to come up with the revised norms for the use of, anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine in the combination with antibiotic Azithromycin, for treating several ill patients of Covid.

This is expected that HCQ to remain part of the new treatment protocol while azithromycin could be dropped if we believe reports AIIMS Delhi is already following the new treatment protocol.

“Health ministry has been identifying the evidence in favour and against HCQ from all over the world. In the recent group of ministers’ meeting also ICMR showed its views on the medicines presently have shown promise in Covid treatment, including remdesivir and favipiravir. HCQ most likely is going to be continued for use but with a different combination. Ministry is looking into it and should soon take a call”.

A top ICMR official also said that use of azithromycin with Hydroxychloroquine should be avoided as both raise the break between two waves in ECG also known as QTc prolongation. It makes/ causes heart problems. He informed that people can replace doxycycline or amoxicillin+ clavulanic acid as they are not known to cause this heart-related problem.

The recommended dose for HCQ is 400mg twice a day for 1 day, chased by 200mg twice a day for 4 days, and for azithromycin, the ministry has recommended 500 mg once a day for 5 days. The combination, however, is not recommended for children under the age of 12 years, pregnant and lactating women.

“Since there was no other treatment available after a combination of antivirals which are in use for HIV/AIDS lopinavir-ritonavir was stopped for use among Covid patients in March, this combination of HCQ and azithromycin is being given to severely ill patients present in hospitals across the country on an experimental basis. As other medicines have now shown obligation against the virus it makes sense to review the evidence and revise the treatment protocol,” added the official.

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