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WHO panel advises against use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 02, 2021

The drug hydroxychloroquine   -  REUTERS

World Health Organization Guideline Development Group (GDG) panel of international experts stated that the anti-inflammatory drug hydroxychloroquine should not be used to prevent Covid-19 infection.

The report, published in the BMJ, strongly recommended avoidance of hydroxychloroquine as it stated high certainty evidence from six randomised controlled trials.

The trials involved over 6,000 participants with and without known exposure to a person with the Covid-19 infection.

High certainty evidence, supported by WHO, showed that hydroxychloroquine had no meaningful effect on death and admission to hospital.

While moderate certainty evidence showed that hydroxychloroquine had no meaningful effect on laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 infection, and it probably increases the risk of adverse effects.

As such, the panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority. The panel believes that resources should be used to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent Covid-19.

This guideline applies to all individuals who do not have Covid-19, regardless of their exposure to a person with Covid-19 infection, the panel said.

Published on March 02, 2021

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