Jordan Authorises Use Of Hydroxychloroquine To Treat COVID-19

Jordan Authorises Use Of Hydroxychloroquine To Treat COVID-19

March 23, 2020, 8:13 a.m.

Jordan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised physicians to use hydroxychloroquine along with an antiviral medicine as a treatment for COVID-19 in patients in an advanced stage of the disease.

A recent French study has shown hydroxychloroquine, a malaria treatment that has been in use around the world for decades, may be beneficial if taken with an antibiotic for fighting a coronavirus infection.

Dr Hayel Obeidat, the head of Jordan's FDA, told Al Jazeera his organisation authorised the use of hydroxychloroquine on Sunday and established a legal basis for it citing international studies in the United States and Europe

He told Al Jazeera, "hydroxychloroquine should only be used as part of a treatment protocol with other antiviral components with doctors' supervision. It is not a prevention mechanism."

Obeidat added that the treatment should be for "compassionate use" for patients who are in stage 2 of the disease or suffer serious complications.

Obeidat said he banned the sale of hydroxychloroquine in pharmacies to prevent people from hoarding the medication and depriving patients who really need it.

As for treating current COVID-19 infections in Jordan with hydroxychloroquine, Obeidat said, at this point, all confirmed cases are not serious enough to require it.

He said Jordanian pharmaceutical manufacturers had large quantities of the drug and donated all of their stock to the government in the effort to fight the infection.

Dr Asem Mansour, the head of Jordan's King Hussein Cancer Center, a prominent hospital in Jordan, said the French study that declared hydroxychloroquine was a possible coronavirus treatment was not accurate scientifically in terms of its size and measurement parameters.

"However," he said, "the use of hydroxychloroquine should be administered only as a medicine of last resort."

Credit: Aljazeera

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