The Indian Council for Medical Research(ICMR) has stated that there are no serious side effects of malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and those who have been prescribed this drug can continue to take it under strict medical watch.
The statement by the research body comes a day after the World Health Organisation put out that it had temporarily suspended clinical trials of the malarial drug as a potential treatment for coronavirus.
ICMR DG Balram Bhargava on Tuesday stated that the studies regulated in India didn’t find any major side-effects.
"Taking biological plausibility, in-vitro data and safety of this drug [HCQ], we recommend it under strict medical supervision," Bhargava told media at a press conference in New Delhi.
ICMR DG stated that public health workers should carry on using it as a preventative treatment for coronavirus but only with food. The common side effects of Hydroxychloroquine ccan be nausea, vomiting and palpitations.
"We clearly advised HCQ should be taken with food, not on empty stomach," he said, adding that anyone taking HCQ for Covid-19 should undergo ECG once to rule out side-effects.
Hydroxychloroquine has been touted by US President Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2. Trump has stated that he was taking the drug to help prevent infection. But WHO has said that it is suspending trials of HCQ due to safety concerns.