Belize warns against using Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19

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Belize warns against using Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) — Belizean health authorities have warned against the use of the drugs Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine as possible treatment options for COVID-19, saying the drug have been linked to electrocardiogram changes which can be detrimental.

United States President Donald Trump has been touting the medication form of chloroquine as a possible treatment for the virus that has killed more than 15,000 people worldwide, since it was first detected in China last December.

International media reports said that at least one person died in the United States after taking the drug, while others have been hospitalised in Nigeria.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said it is aware of an increase in the public's request for the drugs as possible treatment options for COVID-19, but that it wanted to remind the nation “that there are no approved drugs for the specific treatment of COVID-19.

“While the aforementioned drugs have been used experimentally for the management of COVID-19 patients, the Belizean Ministry of Health strongly advises the public against self-medicating with any of these drugs.

“Several countries including Nigeria and the United States have reported chloroquine poisonings as a result of self-medication. Please be advised that both drugs have been linked to electrocardiogram changes which can be detrimental, especially in patients with pre-existing heart conditions. Side effects include liver injury and eye damage among others,” the Ministry warned.

It added also that the drugs are sold by prescription only and it is an offence to sell any of these prescription medications without a valid prescription and 'as such, any establishment in violation of this regulation may face repercussions”.

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