The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and has spread at the global level. In just three months there are 19,20,918 confirmed cases around the globe, and the death toll has raised to 1,19,686. Coronavirus is an infectious disease. People infected with COVID-19 will experience respiratory illness.
According to the World Health Organization and US Food and Drug Administration, there are no drugs or therapeutics approved to treat and prevent COVID-19. Coronavirus Research Center in Wuhan, China, suggested that Hydroxychloroquine oral drug can be a potential therapy to fight COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine It can help tame an overactive immune system. Since 1955 Hydroxychloroquine was used for the treatment of malaria rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, and porphyria cutanea tarda. There have been many studies conducted by the research organization and other regulatory bodies to identify the effect of Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients. One study shows it curbed the virus’s ability to enter cells, and another study reported that it did not provide fast patients clearance on the virus. China has reported that Hydroxychloroquine has helped more than 100 patients at ten hospitals. The results of these studies conducted are different and on the clinical trial stage. Still, many companies and government bodies are researching Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Currently, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is conducting a clinical trial on the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients. However, NIH trial is focused on people who are already affected by COVID-19 and are hospitalized with the disease. South Dakota has also started a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating and preventing COVID-19. It is the first state to provide a full clinical trial on hydroxychloroquine.
Hydroxychloroquine may have in vitro antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects and offer a potential means to mitigate COVID-19. Therefore, FDA has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for hydroxychloroquine. This authorization allows unapproved use of these medications considering public health emergency and can only be used after doctor recommendation. Under the EUA hydroxychloroquine sulfate should be used to treat adults and adolescents who weigh 50 kg or more and are hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available, are allowed to take 800 milligrams of hydroxychloroquine sulfate on the first day of treatment and then 400 milligrams daily for four to seven days of total treatment. The FDA does not recommend Hydroxychloroquine sulfate to be used in patients with a prolonged QT interval at baseline or increased risk for arrythmia.
The increasing cases of COVID-19 have increased the demand for Hydroxychloroquine. In March 2020, there has been a shortage of Hydroxychloroquine due to consumers that are stockpiling the drug not only for treatment but also for prophylaxis prompted by media. Due to the shortage of Hydroxychloroquine, the leading manufacturer such as Novartis, Sanofi, and other manufacturers are producing and supplying a huge amount of Hydroxychloroquine sulfate.