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28 May, 2020 14:33

Russia WILL NOT ban hydroxychloroquine, drug taken by US President Trump, for use in treating Covid-19

Russia WILL NOT ban hydroxychloroquine, drug taken by US President Trump, for use in treating Covid-19

Russia’s Health Ministry announced it will not ban hydroxychloroquine, seen by some as potentially dangerous. The drug, touted by US President Trump, has been suspended for use in treating Covid-19 in France, Italy, and Belgium.

On Thursday, the Russian Health Ministry stated on its website that hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness and safety in the treatment of coronavirus is continually being monitored, but the ministry is not taking any steps towards outlawing it. This decision is in sharp contrast to moves made by some European countries which, due to safety concerns, have completely stopped the prescription of the drug to fight the coronavirus.

“Several drugs are used to treat patients with Covid-19,” a ministry statement said. “Among these drugs is hydroxychloroquine, which, due to its anti-inflammatory effect and effect on the immune system, has been used for decades to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.”

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According to the Health Ministry, recommendations to use HCQ have come from various foreign studies confirming its effectiveness, and it has been included in several national and international clinical guidelines, including in Russia. As it stands, Russian doctors are able to give the drug to patients who provide informed consent, taking into account potential side effects and risk factors.

“According to the results of monitoring the safety of hydroxychloroquine drugs during the Covid-19 pandemic in the Russian Federation, there were no fatal outcomes associated with rhythm disturbance in patients with HCQ,” the ministry said.

The drug, most often used to treat malaria, rose to prominence on March 19 when US President Donald Trump promoted the medication as a potential treatment for Covid‑19. On May 25, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it would be suspending its hydroxychloroquine testing out of what it called an “abundance of caution.” HCQ was just one part of a more extensive study of experimental coronavirus treatments.

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The WHO’s decision to stop the testing came after a study published in the prestigious British medical journal the Lancet, which found an increased mortality rate in patients taking the drug.

Following the halting of the WHO’s trials, several nations, including France, Italy, and Belgium, opted to suspend the prescription of the drug for Covid-19. Other countries, such as Spain, have decided to continue giving HCQ to coronavirus patients.

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