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ICMR stops use of ivermectin, HCQ for COVID-19 treatment

A view of hydroxychroloquine tablets. Photo used for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: AP

The Indian Council of Medical Research-led COVID-19 National Task Force has dropped the use of the drugs ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) from the revised “clinical guidance for management of adult COVID-19 patients”.

The revised guidelines also suggests the use of drugs Remdesivir and Tocilizumab in specific circumstances.

While stressing the need to wear masks, maintain distancing and hand hygiene, the guidelines added that symptomatic patients may take antipyretic and multivitamins and seek immediate medical attention if they experience difficulty in breathing or high-grade fever or severe cough, particularly if lasting for more than five days.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) national task force for COVID-19 and the Joint Monitoring Group made the recommendation following a meeting on August 20. The previous clinical guidance was issued on May 19.

“HCQ may be considered for removal from guideline, with recommendation to use with caution only in clinical trial setting (since there is some genuine uncertainty regarding the possible benefit for severe cases and in low dose). Many studies showing increased mortality risk (10/13) and low mortality benefit of HCQ(2/13). Considering evidence for increased ADE(6/13) , especially with azithromycin and only one study showed no increase in ADE(1/13),” said the revised guidelines for Covid management.

Experts add that the reasons behind dropping HCQ also included no mortality benefit, increasing the risk of adverse drug effect (ADE) when co-administered with azithromycin.

Meanwhile cautioning that the upcoming festival season is a critical period, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, Dr. Randeep Guleria, participating in a Facebook live on Friday, said the next 6-8 weeks are going to be critical and the community has to come together to ensure people follow all COVID appropriate rules and aggressively encourage vaccination. “This is a way forward,” he said during a live event on Facebook.

The Health Ministry said that while the number of new COVID cases are steadily declining across the country, the Centre has advised States and Union territories to keep a strict vigil as the country is still in the midst of the second surge of the pandemic.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 3:08:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/icmr-stops-use-of-ivermectin-hcq-for-covid-19-treatment/article36651890.ece

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