No more Anti-HIV drugs for COVID-19 treatment! India will be using a new set of drugs for treating the novel Coronavirus.
Coronavirus in India: No more Anti-HIV drugs for COVID-19 treatment! India will be using a new set of drugs for treating the novel Coronavirus. According to the new clinical management guidelines, anti-HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir will not be used against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In place of these drugs, a combination of an antibiotic azithromycin along with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) which is used for treating auto-immune disorders is recommended for patients who have tested positive for Coronavirus, the IE reported. The report said that Ritonavir-Lopinavir usage, as stated on March 17, are now repealed in high risk patients.
The report mentioned that there is no specific antiviral that has proven to be effective as of now but with the new information, based on uncontrolled clinical trials, HCQ and azithromycin can be used for further process. India, in March only, has recommended HCQ to be used to prevent the infection in medical workers as well as caregivers at home. This had led to a surge in demand for hydroxychloroquine. As a result, the drug regulator directed it to be put under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act which means that the drug cannot be sold without a prescription.
It is to note that azithromycin is used commonly as an antibiotic and HCQ, on the other hand, is used for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and treating malaria. The use of the new drug combination came in line with a clinical trial led by the World Health Organization.
Citing a study by the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents’, the report said that in trials of 20 patients azithromycin when added to hydroxychloroquine has proven to be significantly efficient for eliminating the virus. While the combination did reduce the viral content in the body, it is believed that the sample is too small for making it a definitive treatment.