ICMR drops ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine from COVID treatment guidelines


The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has removed ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) from the approved COVID-19 treatment protocol.

The underlying reason for HCQ removal is an increased risk of address drug effects (ADE) when given in combination with azithromycin and not a mortality benefit.

Meanwhile, studies have shown no clarity regarding the mortality benefit and clinical recovery in the case of ivermectin use.

Also read: U.S. health experts warn against taking ivermectin to treat COVID-19

In early May, the General Directorate for Health Services (DGHS) of the Union’s Ministry of Health issued extensive guidelines to stop the use of ivermectin and HCQ in addition to several other drugs from the COVID-19 treatment protocol.

However, the guidelines were not affirmed by the ICMR at the time, as the experts from the DGHS and the ICMR were apparently divided.

In the meantime, the DGHS guidelines have been celebrated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Evidence-based guidelines from @mohfw DGHS – simple, rational and clear instructions for doctors. Should be translated and distributed in all Indian languages. Can be updated as soon as new information is available, ”Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO, tweeted.

Also read: Department of Health Removes Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine From COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines

The WHO had also warned against the use of ivermectin. Large drug companies like Sun Pharmaceuticals, Cipla, and Zuventus have popular brands of ivermectin in the market.

Ivermectin is an oral drug and is used as a prescription drug to treat parasitic infections.

It became known in 2020 when doctors started prescribing the drug to treat COVID-19, which led to a surge in sales.


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