The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (U.S.A. to allow hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products to be distributed and prescribed by physicians to adolescent and adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act states that the FDA Commissioner «may allow unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or lifelong illnesses.» This is feasible «when there are no adequate, approved and available alternatives».
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The Emergency Use Authorization requires that fact sheets providing important information on the use of chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate in the treatment of COVID-19 be made available to health care providers and patients, «including known risks and pharmacological interactions».
The FDA says that «although there are currently no approved treatments for COVID-19, both drugs have shown activity in laboratory studies against coronavirus, including SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)».
It also notes that «anecdotal reports suggest that these drugs may offer some benefit in the treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19.» But he also mentions that «clinical trials are needed to provide scientific evidence that these treatments are effective.»
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All medicines must be prescribed and monitored by a health care professional
Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) are part of the treatment to combat other diseases, such as lupus. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, at least five million people around the world are diagnosed with this condition.
Omar Francisco Carrasco Ortega, head of the Department of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine of UNAM explained to Animal Politics that hydroxychloroquine has also been used for almost 70 years for the treatment of malaria. But for some years it has been observed to be useful for preventing viral infections «because it disrupts the virus’s interaction with cell receptors.»
It should be remembered, that viruses are not alive, «they are segments of DNA that need the machinery of cells to replicate,» says Carrasco Ortega.
According to the specialist, «all medications, have adverse reactions and those reactions have to be weighed by a health care professional».
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