Hydroxychloroquine is approved for the prevention and treatment of malaria caused by mosquitos. It is also used to treat certain auto-immune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Hydroxychloroquine belongs to a class of medications called Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs). It can also reduce skin problems in lupus and prevent swelling or pain in arthritis.
Did you know?
- India is the biggest manufacturer (70%) and exporter of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).
- India has a production capacity of 40 tonnes of HCQ every single month, implying 20 crores of 200 mg tablets.
- However, India gets the HCQ API (around 70%) from China.
- The major formulation makers of HCQ are Ipca, Zydus, Wallace & Cipla.
- HCQS is the biggest Hydroxychloroquine brand sold by IPCA having a brand value of 122 Crores (18% growth). IPCA also sells Chloroquine under the brand name “LARIAGO” having a brand value of around 47 Cr (11% growth).
- The drug is not manufactured in developed nations such as the US because of non-existent malaria.
- India decided to lift the export ban and supply HCQ to needy countries depending on the availability of stock after meeting domestic requirements.
HCQ in COVID-19?
- HCQ is widely being speculated as a treatment for COVID-19, despite weak clinical evidence.
- On March 28th, 2020, FDA has issued an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) to facilitate the availability of chloroquinephosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate during the COVID-19 pandemic to treat patients for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.
- Remember that, ICMR recommends prophylactic use of HCQ only for healthcare workers, and persons caring for COVID-19 patients in households.
- Each COVID-19 patient would reportedly require a 14 tablet course.
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Beware: Do not take Hydroxychloroquine tablets without proper prescription and medical advice from a qualified medical practitioner.