Does Hydroxychloroquine prevent Covid-19?
Date Added: 27 March 2020, 23:49
Last Updated Date:17 November 2020, 14:04
Near East University Hospital Cardiology Department Specialist Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel, drawing attention to the arguments circulating in social media and digital platforms regarding the medicine, named Hydroxychlorocine (commercial name Plaquenil), and arguing that it is preventing the Coronavirus, said that these arguments do are not true as there is no certain drug or vaccine against this virus which has deadly effects on cardiac patients.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel said that the news that some drugs could be used to neutralize the virus that caused the disease did not reflect the truth, and that there was information pollution regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of Covid-19 infection.

“The drug of hydroxychloroquine has been used for many years in the treatment of rheumatic diseases as well as the treatment and protection of malaria. The drug, which was first produced in 1955, has been shown to disable the virus in its use in conjunction with antiviral and antibiotic treatments in the Covid-19 outbreak.” said Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel, and stated that the current information available today is based only on Chinese experiences that have been severely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, while experimental research on the effectiveness of the drug is still ongoing.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel; “The use of the Hydroxychloroquine apart from the doctor's control can cause serious cardiac diseases that can cause death”
Stating that the use of hydroxychloroquine drug has very important side effects, most often in the heart and eyes, Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel continued her statements as follows; “Depending on the dosage of the drug, its effects on the heart can lead to death. It has toxic effects on the heart and can lead to heart failure due to weak contraction or thickening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy). Due to the negative impact of the cardiac electrical system, rhythm disturbances may also develop. By affecting the heartbeat waves, it can lead to prolonged “QT” interval and very serious rhythm disorders that may result in sudden death. In addition, these side effects can be seen in long or short-term use. For this reason, it is inconvenient to use the drug outside of the doctor's control.”

Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel; “It can poison or corrupt the treatment process in the interaction with frequently used drugs.”
Stating that the drug, which is known to have serious side effects on the blood and lymphatic system, brain and sensory organs, especially in the eyes, and apart from its effects on the heart, is excreted through the kidneys. Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel stated that the careful use of the drug in kidney failure is vital. Apart from the known side effects, Dr. Günsel noted that the use of different drugs together could lead to other health problems. Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel also stated that hydroxychloroquine interacts with many commonly used drugs, increasing the effects of the drugs used, causing poisoning, as well as decreasing its effectiveness and disrupting the treatment processes.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel continued her statements on the subject as follows; “Since it has an interaction with insulin or drugs used in people with diabetes, it can lead to a drop in blood sugar. In people who use anti-arrhythmic drugs due to heart rhythm problem, drug dose adjustment is vital. It can be fatal to use with drugs that have similar effects, such as antibiotics, as it causes prolonged “QT” prolongation, which can be fatal in a heart rhythm. As it decreases the effectiveness of epilepsy and seizure drugs, a dose adjustment should be made by the doctor.”

“Hydroxychloroquine should only be used if it is prescribed by Infectious Diseases, Chest Diseases or Rheumatology Specialists.”
“It is not yet known what the consequences of using the drug as an infection-preventing agent by high-risk healthcare workers or the community immediately after or after transmission with the Covid-19 virus are.” said Assist. Prof. Dr. Hatice Kemal Günsel, also adding that despite promising studies on hydroxychlorocine, the outcomes suggest that the use of the drug without the doctor's approval or recommendation may be harmful, it would be right to use it only if prescribed by infectious diseases and chest diseases specialists or rheumatologists.