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Chloroquine cannot treat Covid-19: Medical experts

Chloroquine cannot treat Covid-19: Medical experts

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27 Apr 2022 - 17:04
Chloroquine cannot treat Covid-19: Medical experts
author avatar
27 Apr 2022 - 17:04

KABUL (Pajhwok): People and some social media users consider chloroquine as a cure for coronavirus while medical experts say the drug is not only ineffective in treating the disease, but also harmful.

Chloroquine is for primary used for treatment of malaria, however, due to different types of malaria, the drug is used together with other medicines.

Claim: Chloroquinecan treat coronavirus.

Verdict: Health experts say chloroquine cannot only treat coronavirus, but the drug is harmful to the infected person.


A Facebook page named ( Iran Pharmacist Association) in an article titled”Recent studies show that chloroquine phosphate has a great effect on antiviral activity, including on (COVID-19)”

Moqadasah, a resident of Kabul who was infected with coronavirus two months ago, said she was infected for not following medical instructions and she also transmitted the virus to two other members of her family.

Referring to the severity of her illness, she said she did not think she would survive until one of her friends recommended taking chloroquine drug which helped her recover completely in a week.

Afzal, a pharmacist at Hossain Sadeqi Pharmacy in Khair Khana area of Kabul, told Pajhwok that chloroquine was used to treat malaria, but some people recently have been using it to treat coronavirus.

He added that many people have referred to him and asked for the medicine; but he refused to give it to them as they had no doctor’s prescription.

Ahmad Shoaib, doctor in Taimani area of Kabul, said that chloroquine, or the malaria medicine, is more commonly used in warmer regions but not used in Kabul due to its cold climate.

He said that the use of the drug recently increased for treatment of coronavirus because the tests of the virus showed a sign of inflammatory disease (malaria) and it was treated with the same drug with some good results.

He said that the cases of coronavirus have decreased and the weather got cold, the use of the drug is now decreased to zero.

The use of these drugs was high at the time of the outbreak of the coronavirus, and people would arbitrary use it during the time even if they were healthy, he said.

He said that during the outbreak of the virus, the use of the drug had increased so much that all pharmacies ran out of it and its price jumped from 50 afghanis to 1,000 afghanis.

Health experts

Dr. Abdul Bayes Ahadpur, a specialist of internal medicine, told Pajhwok that in the first days of Covid-19 virus, some researches were conducted on the effect of this drug for the treatment of the disease.

He said that the medicine was prescribed due to its inflammatory feature and acute condition during the first outbreak of the virus. However, he said that clinical trials conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) have not verified the effectiveness of this drug on patients.

He said that WHO in June 2020 announced that the use of the drug is ineffective to treat coronavirus and the latest statement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and WHO warned about the use of chloroquine for Covid-19 patients due to severe side effects such as heart disease, liver and kidney disease.

He said that the drug is currently not recommended for the treatment of the virus due to its serious side effects and inefficiency.

“Coronavirus is still mutating and is constantly challenging treatment methods, it is better that patients with this disease be treated based on the declarations of the WHO and the US Food and Drug Administration,” he said.

Ahadpur said that majority of drugs such as Chloroquine and Remdesivir, which were initially recommended for the treatment and reduction of the virus, were found to be ineffective with serious side effects in later studies.

He recommended that people should follow preventive methods to secure themselves against the virus and if anyone infected, they should not use drugs that worsen the illness.

Meanwhile, Dr. EbadullahEbad, in charge of controlling communicable diseases at Afghan-Japan Hospital in Kabul, told Pajhwok that the use of chloroquine to treat coronavirus has not been proven.

“The use of chloroquine is very dangerous and deadly, we know of several patients who have died after using chloroquine,” he said.

He added that the drugs are not only unhelpful for treating the disease, but can be even harmful for coronavirus patients.

Dr. AsadullahJarfbinHabibi, an internal medicine specialist in a hospital in Netherlands, said in a video that study on a small number of coronavirus patients had been conducted in France, but the research was criticized by scientists in terms of methodology.

“There is still a long way to conduct a research, and it is not yet clear whether chloroquine is effective against coronavirus, and there is no credible scientific evidence that chloroquine is effective against the coronavirus,” he added.

He asked people not to consider the drug useful for treatment of the disease and avoid using it.

This comes as Afghanistan Food, Drug and Health Products Authorityof the Ministry of Public Health had warned in the previous government that the medicine should not be used without a doctor’s guidance.

The authority in a social media post said, “The arbitrary use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus can have harmful consequences.”

The source said that chloroquine can be used only under the prescription of health professionals.

Public health officials had directed all pharmacies to stop the sale of chloroquine without doctors’ prescription.


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