Revised guidelines in India call for using hydroxychloroquine as a preventive drug for asymptomatic healthcare workers working in non-COVID-19 hospitals, frontline staff on surveillance duty in containment zones and paramilitary/police personnel involved in coronavirus-related activities, reported Business Standard.
The recommendation was made after the Joint Monitoring Group under the Chairmanship of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and other groups reviewed the prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine in the context of expanding it to healthcare and other frontline workers deployed in non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 areas.
The data on assessment of hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis among 1323 healthcare workers indicated mild adverse effects such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, hypoglycemia and cardiovascular effects, the advisory said.
However, as per the data from the Pharma covigilance programme of India, there have been 214 reported instances of adverse drug reactions associated with prophylactic hydroxychloroquine use, it noted.
Of these, seven were serious individual safety reports with prolongation of QT interval on electrocardiogram in three cases, it added.
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