Revised guidelines on Hydroxychloroquine: Who and when can be used?

Amid the swirling speculations on the usage of Hydroxychloroquine and the perplex around the medicine on its curability of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Central government has rolled out the revised advisories on the usage of the medicine that has been recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 

The revised advisory has been issued by the ICMR on Friday in which the council has recommended the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medication for the asymptomatic frontline workers including the healthcare workers working in non-COVID19 hospitals, the workers who have been deputed for surveillance duty in the containment zones, and the police and paramilitary personnel who are involved in the taskforce of fighting against the global pandemic. 

In its earlier advisory, the council has recommended the intake of the Hydroxychloroquine for all the asymptomatic healthcare workers who are involved in treating the COVID-19 patients and people who are taking care and living with the virus affected patients and through the revised advisory, the council has inducted all the frontline workers under the ambit of using the medicine against the infection.

These frontline workers including police, surveillance workers in the containment zones, and the health care workers in non-COVID-19 hospitals have been inducted as three new categories and the council has also issued a caution to that the intake of the medicine should not infuse a sense of false security. 

According to the ICMR, the drug is not recommended for prophylaxis in children under the age of 15, and women who are pregnant and under lactation shouldn't intake the medicine. The drug could rarely cause cardiovascular side effects and disorders and the intaker must discontinue the drug if he/she encounter must discontinue the medication. The council has advised that the drug should be recommended under strict medical supervision. 

The drug must be prescribed only by the registered medical practitioner and the frontline workers must acquire consent from the physician before intaking the medicine and they have also been advised to wear the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) with accord to the guidelines rolled out by the union health ministry. 

According to the reports, the frontline workers have also been instructed to approach the medical facility if they develop any symptoms for the virus during the medication. The fresh recommendation has been made by the ICMR the review conducted on the prophylactic use of Hydroxychloroquine by the Joint monitoring group under the chairmanship of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).