ICMR launches study on side effects of hydroxychloroquine

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Some health care workers in India who self-medicated themselves with anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine have shown side effects like abdominal pain, nausea and hypoglycemia among others, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Saturday.

Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at ICMR RamanR Gangakhedkar said the ICMR has launched a study on side effects of HCQ  using data of some health care workers whohad started taking it.

"The average age of such health workers…Is 35 years. Themost visible side effect was that of abdominal pain which was reported in tenper cent of all those who consumed the medication while nausea-like symptomswere reported in 6 per cent.

"A fewer proportion — around 1.3 per cent — hadhypoglycaemia," Gangakhedkar said.

He said that the study so far has revealed that 22 per centof these health care workers who consumed HCQ had existing co-morbidities likediabetes or blood pressure problems or vascular-related ailments or respiratoryillnesses and they started taking the drug out of fear of contracting thedisease.

"What has come to fore is that despite they beinghealth care workers, 14 per cent of them did not even got their ECG checkedbefore having it," Gangakhedkar said."We need to understand that at many placeshealth care workers out of fear are trying to take this medicine and in someplaces the consumption is not that high so it impacts the study design andcollection of data. We are facing difficulty in finding a homogenouspopulation," the scientist said.

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