COVID-19: Heart Problems Associated with Chloroquine Treatment, NAFDAC Warns

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has urged medical professionals to tread with caution in the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for clinical trial treatment of COVID-19 patients.

According to the agency: Serious heart-related adverse events in COVID-19 patients receiving chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine either alone or combined with azithromycin or other prolonging medicines have been reported. The adverse events of all these include QT interval prolongation, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and in some cases, death”.

In a statement signed by the management of the agency, it was stated that these complications are common among patients with underlying health issues.

NAFDAC has therefore warned all medical practitioners to ensure that patients receiving chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 are adequately monitored to detect, document and report Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) associated with the use of the medicines.

It also urged the medical practitioners to ensure that pre-existing heart conditions that can make patients to be more prone to heart rhythm problems are properly documented during clinical trials,
adding that they should report all concomitant medicines used in the management of COVID-19 during clinical trials including azithromycin.

Practitioners have also been implored to enlighten patients with COVID-19 on expected and unexpected ADRs that may be related with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to enable the patients report their experiences with the use of the medicines.

“Healthcare professionals and patients are to report adverse events related to use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine or any other drug to the nearest NAFDAC office,” the agency said.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has urged medical professionals to tread with caution in the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for clinical trial treatment of COVID-19 patients.

According to the agency: Serious heart-related adverse events in COVID-19 patients receiving chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine either alone or combined with azithromycin or other prolonging medicines have been reported. The adverse events of all these include QT interval prolongation, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation and in some cases, death”.

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In a statement signed by the management of the agency, it was stated that these complications are common among patients with underlying health issues.

NAFDAC has therefore warned all medical practitioners to ensure that patients receiving chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 are adequately monitored to detect, document and report Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) associated with the use of the medicines.

It also urged the medical practitioners to ensure that pre-existing heart conditions that can make patients to be more prone to heart rhythm problems are properly documented during clinical trials,.
adding that they should report all concomitant medicines used in the management of COVID-19 during clinical trials including azithromycin.

Practitioners have also been implored to enlighten patients with COVID-19 on expected and unexpected ADRs that may be related with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to enable the patients report their experiences with the use of the medicines.

“Healthcare professionals and patients are to report adverse events related to use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine or any other drug to the nearest NAFDAC office,” the agency said.

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