India's premier medical research institution snubs WHO⁠⁠— wants to keep trying HCQ on COVID-19 patients

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  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) claims there’s no reason to suspend the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) trials due to safety concerns.
  • Previously, the Ministry of Health and family welfare has expressed its disagreement over the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) assessment for HCQ.
  • ICMR said there were no major side-effects of HCQ found in studies in India and its use can be continued in preventive treatment for COVID-19 under strict medical supervision, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Indian Council of Medical Research believes the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is “good” and it is helping coronavirus patients recover in India with less amount of dosage. ICMR has written to the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressing disapproval of the latter’s decision to suspend trials of HCQ on COVID-19 patients, reported ANI.

ICMR claims the global trials used the wrong dosage. "Internationally in Solidarity trial COVID-19 patients are administered with two loading doses of 800 mg 6 hours apart followed by 2 doses of 400 mg per day for 10 days. The total dosage given to a patient over 11 days is about 9600 mg which is four times higher than the dose we are giving to our patients," an official told ANI.

Previously, the Ministry of Health and family welfare has disagreed over WHO’s assessment for HCQ.
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The ICMR in its revised advisory on May 22 recommended use of the HCQ as a preventive medication for COVID-19 for asymptomatic healthcare workers in non-COVID hospitals and frontline staff on surveillance duty in containment zones and paramilitary/police personnel involved in coronavirus related activities.

The ICMR's statement came against the backdrop of the World Health Organization (WHO) temporarily suspending the testing of the drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19 over safety concerns.

ICMR said there were no major side-effects of HCQ found in studies in India and its use can be continued in preventive treatment for COVID-19 under strict medical supervision, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
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"The COVID-19 is an evolving field and we do not know which drug is working and which is not working. Lots of drugs are being repurposed for COVID-19, whether for prophylaxis (treatment given or action taken to prevent disease) or for treatment of the disease,” ICMR said on May 22.


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