COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine Makes You Better Off or Worse Off

COVID-19 and Hydroxychloroquine

  • Muhammad Junaid Tahir Ameer-ud-Din Medical College, Lahore
  • Irfan Ullah
  • Ibad Ur Rehman
  • Khalid Waheed
Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, Drug Safety


Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are already in use and effective for certain diseases including malaria and auto-immune diseases. So the public has easy access to these medications, and importantly due to surge in prescriptions and self-medication based on speculations about the drugs for prevention and cure of COVID-19, it has threatened the availability of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to patients for whom they are known to be effective. Several studies have shown that these drugs, with or without azithromycin, are significantly associated with greater hazard of in-hospital mortality, particularly in patients with cardiac conditions. Considering how effectively a physician must weigh the pros and cons of it in each case and adjust its dose and use accordingly, self-medication becomes a big no. So people stocking up on hydroxychloroquine and using it without any guidance can be fatal and puts their life at risk. US president has argued about hydroxychloroquine that it is a widely used and safe drug and could be “game-changer” for COVID-19. This has reignited the controversy over the drug and suggested individuals like businessmen for stockpiling and distribution of the drug to the public. Large randomized controlled trials are required to evaluate their efficacy and safety so that patients could be protected by the undesirable and harmful effects associated with these drugs.