France bans use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment

Experts have warned about the high risk of side-effects of hydroxychloroquine

hcq salil Representational image | Salil Bera

The French government on Wednesday suspended a decree that allowed hospitals to administer hydroxychloroquine to patients with severe cases of COVID-19.

French daily Le Monde reported that the government decided to stop use of hydroxychloroquine after receiving an adverse report on its use by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products and advice from French High Council for Public Health to further study its use.

On May 23, Minister of Solidarity and Health Olivier Veran had called for further research about adverse effects of hydroxychloroquine after a report in The Lancet.

According to Reuters, "The Lancet has reported that patients getting hydroxychloroquine had increased death rates and irregular heartbeats..." Hydroxychloroquine had received a thumbs-up from US President Donald Trump, who announced a week ago he was taking the drug as a precautionary measure. However, other experts have warned about the high risk of side-effects. Earlier this week, the WHO said it was pausing a large trial of hydroxychloroquine due to safety concerns.