With COVID-19 patients, the body starts its normal immune defense reaction,
just like it would for any virus. Because hydroxychloroquine has shown
to regulate the activity of the immune system and calm an inflammatory
immune response, the theory is that it could help COVID patients fight
off the next phase of the virus.
However, there are conflicting studies on the effectiveness of using hydroxychloroquine
in treating COVID-19. Like so many other aspects about this virus, more
research is needed before doctors can say for sure if this drug is effective
or safe for coronavirus patients. A host of clinical studies are underway
to find a treatment for COVID-19, and the FDA is working with various
government agencies, academic centers, and biopharmaceutical companies
to expedite the process.
Another important factor to remember is that during this pandemic, people
who normally take these medications to manage their health are having
a harder time getting the treatment they need. At least 22 states have
recently passed regulations to limit hydroxychloroquine prescriptions
and require physicians to write the diagnosis on the prescription itself
to ensure those who need it are able to get it.
If you don’t have COVID-19, no drug is proven to help prevent contracting
the virus. Staying home, practicing social distancing, and maintaining
good hand hygiene are still your best bets. If you do have COVID-19, your
physician will consider your health history to determine your treatment
plan, and hydroxychloroquine may or may not be recommended. There are
risks with taking hydroxychloroquine, especially for people with heart
issues including cardiac arrythmias, seizures, rashes and hypoglycemia.