|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 213
Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 widespread use despite unproven benefit
Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||07-Jan-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||19-Jan-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||28-Mar-2022|
Dr. Pranav Ish
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, Room No. 638, 6th Floor, Superspeciality Block, New Delhi - 110 029
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Ish P. Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 widespread use despite unproven benefit. Indian J Rheumatol 2022;17:213
I read with interest the article by Afra et al. which attempted to understand the knowledge and practice of using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in COVID-19. The study found that those doctors who were dealing with COVID-19 patients directly had significantly lower total knowledge score and those who had personally taken HCQ as a prophylactic drug favored its use in COVID-19 including mass prophylaxis. This finding is clearly indicative of the fact that the recommendation of HCQ for prophylaxis and subsequently for mild COVID-19 disease had negligible evidence and was majorly based on opinion. Despite doctors dealing with COVID-19 questioning the same, this blanket recommendation led to so mass use of the drug for both prophylaxis and treatment. An interesting question which the respondents could have been asked is after developing COVID-19 despite taking prophylaxis, how many prescribed HCQ to their patients. Eventual meta-analysis of various international studies concluded that HCQ has no proven benefit or action against COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration cancelled the emergency use authorization for HCQ for treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients as early as June 2020. However, no national or international guidelines were issued discouraging the use of HCQ in mild or nonhospitalized patients. Thus, it can be easily observed from the study that evidence-based medicine stands the test of time and developing guidelines without evidence can be disastrous and having huge implications.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Afra TP, Uvais NA, Bishnoi A, Sukesh E, Eliyas S, Bishurul Hafi NA, et al.
Knowledge on hydroxychloroquine prescription and attitude toward its use in COVID-19 – A survey-based study among doctors. Indian J Rheumatol ahead of print. [doi: 10.4103/injr.injr_184_20].
Rathi S, Ish P, Kalantri A, Kalantri S. Hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis for COVID-19 contacts in India. Lancet Infect Dis 2020;20:1118-9.
Fatima U, Rizvi SS, Fatima S, Hassan MI. Impact of hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine in COVID-19 Therapy: Two sides of the coin. J Interferon Cytokine Res 2020;40:469-71.
Smit M, Marinosci A, Agoritsas T, Calmy A. Prophylaxis for COVID-19: A systematic review. Clin Microbiol Infect 2021;27:532-7.