The Union Health Ministry has allowed the use of Hydroxychloroquine in combination with Azithromycin under close monitoring for patients with severe disease and requiring ICU management as per the revised Guidelines on Clinical Management of COVID–19.
Hydroxychloroquine was previously under testing and was allowed to be administered only to doctors and caregivers in direct contact with COVID-19 positive cases.
NO SPECIFIC ANTIVIRALS have been proven to be effective as per currently available data. However, based on the available information (uncontrolled clinical trials), the following drugs may be considered as an off – label indication in patients with severe disease and requiring ICU management:
Hydroxychloroquine (Dose 400mg BD – for 1 day followed by 200mg BD for 4 days) In combination with Azithromycin (500 mg OD for 5 days)
These drugs should be administered under close medical supervision, with monitoring for side effects including QTc interval. The above medication is presently not recommended for children less than 12 years, pregnant and lactating women. These guidelines are based on currently available information and would be reviewed from time to time as new evidence emerges.
Health Ministry’s Revised National Clinical Management of COVID-19 is intended for clinicians taking care of hospitalized adult and pediatric patients of COVID–19. “This is not meant to replace clinical judgment or specialist consultation but rather to strengthen clinical management of these patients and provide up-to-date guidance. This document aims to provide clinicians with updated interim guidance on timely, effective, and safe supportive management of patients with COVID -19, particularly those with severe acute respiratory illness and critically ill,” noted the document.
Note: Revised Guidelines on Clinical Management of COVID – 19 is attached as pdf.