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Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin
Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are currently being used to treat COVID-19. But doctors and experts have different opinions about the effectiveness of this treatment. Even the U.S CDC removed hydroxychloroquine dosage prescription advice from their official website.

Hydroxychloroquine can lead to sudden cardiac arrests in some patients. The potential adverse effects of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin also include cardia arrhythmias, hypoglycemia, neuropsychiatric effects, such as hallucinations, paranoia, agitation and confusion.

The doctor said that hydroxychloroquine on its own presents only a small cardia risk, but the risk increases when it is given alongside azithromycin. Azithromycin is an antibiotic that is being prescribed for the treatment of coronavirus.

These drugs might interact with other medications that the patients are using leading to some additional adverse side effects. Additionally, both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are metabolized by hepatic cytochrome P450 enzyme 2D6 (CYP2D6). This enzyme is expressed differently among individuals due to genetic polymorphisms. This genetic variability influences the response to treatment and increases the risk of unwanted adverse effects.

Hydroxychloroquine blocks a channel that controls the heart’s electric recharging systems leading to change in the heart’s rhythm and causing a sudden cardiac arrest.
Electrocardiogram recordings of patients involved with hydroxychloroquine trials were being constantly monitored for adverse effects. ECG monitoring highlights the major risk of serious accidents in a patient.

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are highly toxic if overdosed. Overdosed of these medications can cause seizures, coma and cardiac arrest. The use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 can lead to drug shortages. Especially for patients with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus making it difficult for people who need them to access the drug.

The use of either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for treatment if COVID-19 is currently supported primarily by in vitro data, meaning outside the human body. Data that involve human studies rely on weak evidence.

A review published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed the poor quality of evidence that supports this treatment. The scientist suggests that while these treatments might be beneficial in some patients with COVID-19. They warn that it is possible that these treatments could also worsen the disease.
Canadian Medical Association Journal
The review concludes that better evidence is needed before using these drugs to treat patient with COVID-19.

A hospital in France had to stop an experimental treatment using hydroxychloroquine on at least one coronavirus patient, after finding that it became a major risk to the patient’s cardiac health. Harms of treatment can be mitigated by carefully selecting patients and constantly monitoring the body’s reaction to the treatment.

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