Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, other drugs dropped from new COVID-19 guidelines
The Indian Health Ministry has revised the COVID-19 management guidelines, dropping the use of various medicines - including Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin - for asymptomatic and mild coronavirus cases. The advisory from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) comes as India continues to witness a significant dip in coronavirus infections after suffering a devastating second wave this year. Here are more details on this.
The revised guidelines have dropped the use of drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Doxycycline, zinc, multivitamins, among others, for asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic coronavirus patients. The only drugs that have been continued are antipyretic for fever and antitussive for symptoms of cold. The guidelines also discourage medical practitioners from prescribing unnecessary examinations such as CT Scans to patients.
The guidelines also suggest the use of budesonide at a dosage of 800 mcg twice a day for five days for a cough. "No other COVID-19 specific medication is required. The patient may have to be investigated further if symptoms persist or deteriorate," the advisory read. It further stressed on the importance of following COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks and maintaining hand hygiene.
Experts around the world have been arguing the said medicines are ineffective in treating coronavirus patients and hence should be discontinued. For instance, the RECOVERY Trial from the University of Oxford found the use of hydroxychloroquine did not reduce chances of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Similar, the WHO has issued warnings against the general use of Ivermectin for COVID-19, citing lack of evidence.
Not long ago, the use of convalescent plasma therapy was dropped from the Indian government's guidelines as it said the method was ineffective and being used inappropriately. Before the decision, several experts had advised against the treatment method.
After facing the world's worst coronavirus outbreak over the past couple of months, India's COVID-19 situation is finally improving. In the past 24 hours, the country logged 1,00,636 fresh cases - the lowest daily surge in over two months - taking the total caseload to 2.89 crore. Meanwhile, 2,427 more fatalities took the death toll past 3.49 lakh.