Relief Drug for COVID-19
The drug Hydroxychloroquine is currently being used for the treatment of the COVID-19 positive cases. Even though the evidence of its effectiveness is limited, it has fuelled hype and hope for the time being. Chinese scientists ran tests for five drugs on cells infected in a lab, and Hydroxychloroquine was considered the safest and most promising.
French studies show a reduction in viral load for patients being treated with the combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin; this clinical trial was tested on humans before they could publish the results in the International Journal of Analysis and Applications (IJAA). Recent clinical trials show a high risk of Cardiac Arrhythmia. (Julia Carrie Wong)
Consumption of this medicine and its dosage depends on:
- the age of the patient,
- how severe the condition is
- patient’s medical history
- patient’s reaction to the first dose (Stassi Myer)
Each oral tablet contains 200mg strength. The most common dose to treat Covid-19 is 400mg per day of Hydroxychloroquine for 7 to 10 days. (PubMed Central)
Other uses of Hydroxychloroquine
Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug; it kills the parasites, hence killing the disease. It is also used to treat Lupus Erythematosus and Rheumatoid Arthritis; it supports the immune system that helps in the cure for the diseases. Hydroxychloroquine sulphate also helps in reducing inflammation in patients that have an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks itself unknowingly. (Electronic Medicines Compendium)
Hydroxychloroquine can cause the following side effects:
- Stomach cramps
- Blurred vision
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Loss of hearing
- Skin swelling
- Sore throat
- Severe hypoglycemia
- Skin color turning blue-black
- Weakened muscles
- Loss and change of color of hair
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts and
- Mental breakdown
The oral medication does not cause drowsiness. These side effects do not occur to every patient consuming the drug; the effects differ from person to person depending on their lifestyle and immune system. (Healthline)
Recent clinical trials
The most recent clinical trials show the side effects of serious heart rhythm problems in patients being treated with Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine. They are neither safe nor effective. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released guidelines for the treatment of Covid-19. As there was insufficient data, they could not recommend for or against hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with Azithromycin due to high risks related to the heart. (Julia Carrie Wong)
Hydroxychloroquine- Demand and Supply to other countries
Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-inflammatory drug and is being used with several combinations to treat patients with Covid-19. India has been supplying Hydroxychloroquine to 13 countries that are on the first list- the United States of America, Spain, Bahrain, Brazil, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Mauritius, and the Dominican Republic. India, in its second consignment, is including Canada, Germany, and Sri Lanka as well.
The supply of the drugs is supposedly on a first come first serve basis. Bangladesh is expected to receive 20 lakh tablets, Nepal 10 lakh, Bhutan 2 lakh, Afghanistan 5 lakh, and Maldives 2 lakh tablets. India will also be exporting Paracetamol tablets to countries such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and a few nations in the African continent.
India has also included countries like Myanmar, Zambia, Madagascar, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali Congo, Egypt Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ecuador, Jamaica, Syria, Ukraine, Chad, Zimbabwe, France, Jordan, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, and Peru. India is further extending help to the Philippines, Russia, Slovenia, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Uruguay, Columbia, Algeria, and the Bahamas as well.
As the demand rose with time, the supply wasn’t sufficient, therefore, India raised a ban on the export of the drug as it was falling short to provide within the country itself. However, due to the rising death tolls and the immense pressure from multiple countries, India decided to lift the ban and restart exports of the drug. This was done about two weeks after the president of the USA, Donald Trump, threatened India with retaliatory actions if the supply to the states didn’t continue. (The Economic Times)
The demand for the drug has increased rapidly from other countries, while the cases in India are increasing with every passing day resulting in a high number of fatalities. India produces 40 tonnes, or 20 crore tablets per month, but with the increase in demand from around the world, the production has increased and the government is trying its best to meet the demands, domestically as well as globally. (Bloomberg Quint)
Hydroxychloroquine cost in India during the Pandemic
The prices of raw materials and chemicals used to manufacture drugs for Covid-19 have skyrocketed at least 10 times since March 20th due to opportunistic pricing and black-market supply, which is weakening the ₹ currency economically.
Hydroxychloroquine cost ₹6,500 per kg in February before the discovery of it being a relief drug, in March the price increased to ₹7,500 per kg. The price even shot up to ₹70,000 per kg, even though the drug is under price control in India. After the US president’s tweet, saying it was a potential Covid-19 treatment, the demand shot up and the prices began being manipulated. (The Times of India)
India’s diplomacy and the game-changer drug
India is currently supplying Hydroxychloquine and paracetamol drugs Anzen Exportsto more than 50 countries and the demand is only growing in number. The country is highly praised for its presence of mind during this difficult time and under crucial circumstances. The country is being thanked for its generosity and goodwill all over the globe.
After the ban was lifted, India has categorized the exportation of HCQ under Humanitarian Aid and Commercial Supply. India has made genuine sacrifices and has shown showing International solidarity in these tough times.
Countries that have received help from India are grateful and have said that they would extend help to India as well whenever possible. India’s diplomatic hand will pay off soon after the Pandemic is controlled and taken care of. (World News Al Jazeera)
Julia Carrie Wong. “Hydroxychloroquine and Coronavirus: a Guide to the Scientific Studies So Far.” The Guardian, 24 Apr. 2020,
“India Sending Hydroxychloroquine to 55 Coronavirus-hit Countries.” The Economic Times, 16 Apr. 2020,
“How an Anti-malarial Drug Has Become a Tool of India’s Diplomacy.” Breaking News, World News Al Jazeera, 16 Apr. 2020,
Stassi Myer – CE. “Hydroxychloroquine: Side Effects, Dosage, COVID-19 (under Study).” Healthline,
“Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine in the Treatment of COVID-19 with or Without Diabetes: A Systematic Search and a Narrative Review with a Special Reference to India and Other Developing Countries.” PubMed Central (PMC), May 2020,
“Hydroxychloroquine: Side Effects, Dosage, COVID-19 (under Study).” Healthline,
“Plaquenil-Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate 200mg Film-coated Tablets.” Home – Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC),
“Surge in Prices of Ingredients of Drugs Used Against Covid-19.” The Times of India, 17 Apr. 2020,
“India Says Can Ramp Up Production Of Hydroxychloroquine To Meet Demand.” Bloomberg Quint,
Anzen Exports blog posts are based just on our research from cited websites. To be best informed, we advise you to consult your doctor about an ingredient or medicine prior to taking it.