A sustained intake of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has shown positive results in reducing the risk of coronavirus in the healthcare workers, the ICMR study says. However, HCQ prophylaxis should be taken in tandem with wearing the personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimise risk exposure, it said.
The Lancet study and the World Health Organization (WHO) solidarity trials may have put a pause on the use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as prophylaxis or treatment to reduce the risk of the novel coronavirus.
However, a case-control study by the Indian research body, the ICMR continues to rally for its usage in the healthcare workers (HCWs) who are at an elevated risk of contracting Covid-19.
The case-control investigation of the ICMR reveals that consumption of four or more maintenance doses of hydroxychloroquine led to a significant decline in the odds of healthcare workers getting infected with the coronavirus infection.
The ICMR study indicates that “simply initiating HCQ prophylaxis did not reduce the odds of acquiring Covid-19 infection among HCWs. However, with the intake of four or more maintenance doses of HCQ, the protective effect started emerging. A significant reduction of about 80 per cent in the odds of Covid-19 infection in the HCWs was identified with the intake of six or more doses of HCQ prophylaxis. This dose-response relationship added strength to the study outcomes.”
“Biologically, it appears plausible that HCQ prophylaxis, before the onset of infection, may inhibit the virus from gaining a foothold,” researchers said in the study.