Czech Health Ministry permits temporary use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19

The Czech Health Ministry has permitted a temporary eight-month use of hydroxychloroquine-sulfaat Teva to treat COVID-19 patients

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 07.04.2020 14:22 (updated on 07.04.2020)

Prague, April 7 (CTK) – The Health Ministry has permitted a temporary, eight-month use of hydroxychloroquine-sulfaat Teva, a medicine produced by the German Merckel firm that is not officially registered in Czechia, for treating COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals, the ministry announced today.

The medicine contains the same active ingredient as plaquenil, a medicine that is registered in Czechia and whose prescription the ministry has limited since March 22.

The newly permitted medicine can be administered on a doctor’s prescription and exclusively to hospitalised patients on condition of their informed consent.

The doctors are bound to watch its possible side effects.

The ministry cited the position of the State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL), which said that the country’s stock of plaquenil probably will not suffice with regard to the unfavourable development of the epidemiological situation, and that another medicine containing the hydroxychloroquine ingredient should be made available.

The German medicine is EU-registered, which is why the SUKL considers its safety reliably proven.

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The hydroxychloroquine substance works to suppress excessive production of cytokines within the cytokine storm that causes a very severe course of the COVID-19 disease, the ministry wrote.

Cytokines appear in lungs as the immunity system’s defensive reaction.

Hydroxychloroquine, nevertheless, can have side effects including heart troubles and the loss of sight. That is why its use has been limited to hospitals only, which can keep it under control.