Nigeria won’t suspend hydroxychloroquine trial — NAFDAC
Barely 24 hours after the World Health Organisation (WHO) Suspended all clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
The Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known during an interview on Television Continental (TVC) on Tuesday.
It said the decision followed a study in The Lancet that the use of the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying.
“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board, ” WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus said.
Chloroquine is a synthetic drug introduced in the 1940s. It is a member of an important series of chemically related agents known as quinoline derivatives. Hydroxychloroquine is a related compound that was introduced in 1955.
Clinical trials in Nigeria
Mrs Adeyeye, however, said there are proven records that hydroxychloroquine has been effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
This she said is most effective in those at the mild stage of the virus.
“There is data to prove that hydroxychloroquine worked for many COVID-19 patients.
“Therefore, we would continue our own clinical trials in Nigeria.
“Hydroxychloroquine has been proved to work at a mild stage. So the potency depends on the severity of the disease in the patient’s body,” she said.
Treating COVID-19 with Chloroquine
There has been controversy trailing the use of chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients.
U.S. President Donald Trump last week said he had been using hydroxychloroquine to protect himself against COVID-19.
However, Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force (PTF) on coronavirus at a daily briefing warned Nigerians against using the drug.
It said the drug has not been declared a cure for the disease and further warned of the possibility of chloroquine poisoning if one indulges in self-medication with the drug.
Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, who was the index case of COVID-19 in his state, had told journalists early this month that he was treated with chloroquine, zithromax, and vitamin c during his successful treatment for the disease.
The governor said COVID-19 patients in the state would, henceforth, be treated with the drugs.