The coronavirus cases all over the world are increasing at a rapid pace. So is the clamor for finding a coronavirus treatment. The problem is that the virus has been around for a relatively lesser time. The COVID-19 strain, in particular, first came to light only in December 2019. The full impact of this strain is only visible this year. That is why; researchers and scientists all over the world haven’t got an appropriate timeframe to develop a treatment. Fortunately, some drugs might not be designed for eliminating coronavirus but showing their beneficial effects. We will highlight today one such drug and everything there is to know about it.
- 1 Review
- 1.1 Is Plaquenil Suitable for Coronavirus Treatment?
- 1.2 What is Plaquenil?
- 1.3 Plaquenil Side Effects
- 1.4 What You Should Know About Plaquenil
The brand name of the drug is Plaquenil. It is developed by Sanofi pharmaceutical company. The drug has been around for more than 30 years. The intended use of the drug is for an entirely different ailment. However, there has been some evidence that it can be beneficial for coronavirus patients as well.
Before we dig any deeper into that evidence, let us go into the details of this drug to understand more.
What is Plaquenil?
Plaquenil is the brand name of hydroxychloroquine. It is a drug that can fight malaria. It is also used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Plaquenil is under clinical trials for the treatment of coronavirus. The clinical trials have started since March 2020. It is too soon for the results yet. However, in off-label use, patients have shown improvement when administered with these drugs.
Hydroxychloroquine is also on WHO’s list of essential medicines. That is why Plaquenil is available globally. That is what has helped out many doctors and scientists as well.
One of the prime advantages of this drug is that it is not that expensive. At the wholesale level, the cost of this drug is less than $ 25 for a month’s supply. The markup is not that great at the retail level, either.
With oral consumption, using it is not going to be a problem either. Thus, if the clinical trials are conclusive, it will mean that we have an affordable solution for dealing with COVID-19. There are a few other generic variants of this drug as well.
Plaquenil, in fact, can prove to be a lifesaver for many patients suffering from coronavirus. Also, the large-scale manufacturing, as well as the distribution of this drug, means that once it is approved for prescribed use, it can reach the patients quite quickly.
Plaquenil Side Effects
As with any other drug, it is essential to look at the side effects of this drug as well. When you’re researching more about this drug, then it is vital to look at its improbable side effects.
First of all, in most cases, the side effects are not visible. They are a rare occurrence. It is one of the reasons why this drug is still under production and even under distribution.
The side effects include:
- Muscle weakness
- Vision change
You need to keep in mind that in most cases when you’re sticking to the doctor prescribed dosage, you will not suffer from any side effects. That is why, in all probability, it won’t cause any problem.
In some severe cases, it might result in allergic reactions. However, most side effects can be treated pretty quickly as well if you contact a doctor. That is why the side effects are not such that you need to avoid the drug altogether. However, it should only be taken when a doctor prescribes it.
What You Should Know About Plaquenil
There are a few other things that you should know about Plaquenil before making up your opinion on it. We would go into these details below.
1. Usage during pregnancy:
For pregnant patients, the use can only be allowed under a doctor’s supervision. The dosage is strictly controlled as well. While these precautions are advised when it comes to the treatment of malaria, but the same can be followed when a doctor recommends it for coronavirus. It is why pregnant ladies need to be extra careful when the doctor prescribes this medicine.
2. Precaution for nursing mothers:
One thing which you need to keep in mind is that the drug can transfer to breast milk. That is why it is not advisable for nursing mothers. In the case of pregnant patients as well, only when the doctor deems this drug to be fit for consumption, then only you can go ahead with it.
3. Off label use:
While you might be hearing stories about the usage of this drug for the treatment of coronavirus but it is for off label use. US FDA has already stated that without proper clinical trials, it cannot be recommended for prescribed use for coronavirus patients. That is why the doctors are using it as an off label drug.
4. Combination of drugs:
The drug is not being used on an individual basis to deal with the menace of COVID-19. It is combined with another drug. At the same point in time, there are reports that doctors are recommending vitamin C dosage in heavy amounts along with this mixture. The exact combination of drugs is only advisable by the doctor. That is why, instead of hoarding these drugs or consuming them on your own, it is a good idea to contact a medical practitioner.
5. Drug poisoning is a possibility:
If you do not consume the right amount of drugs and end up over-consuming it, drug poisoning is a real possibility. Due to this reason, once again, it becomes much necessary to contact a medical practitioner to know more about this drug.
It is essential to know the side effects of over-dosage as well. The side effects include:
- Difficulty in breathing
The side effects are generally visible 30 minutes after you consume the drug. Due to this reason, it is essential to contact a medical practitioner right away if you have consumed this drug without the advice of the doctor.
When you check the Plaquenil reviews, you will realize that most of them are pretty positive. It is because, in conventional use, it rarely results in side effects when consumed in limited dosage. However, there is not enough data when it comes to coronavirus. Nevertheless, it has proven to be useful in quite a few cases. It is one of the reasons why it has become so popular in these times when the number of patients infected by coronavirus is increased on a day-to-day basis. It seems like this might be the cure for coronavirus after all. Only clinical trials and combining it with some other drug might be required.