Gov’t restricts sale of Chloroquine, warns against using it to treat coronavirus
The Ministry of Health has banned all pharmacies and chemists from selling Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine drugs to clients without a prescription from a medical doctor.
This comes after it emerged that members of public are stocking up on the drugs to self medicate for the coronavirus.
In a notice to all Health Care professionals, the Health Ministry’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board, warns that the irrational use of the drugs may lead to irreversible blindness.
US President Donald Trump recently touted the drug as a possible treatment for Covid-19, triggering an unprecedented demand for the drug especially in the US.
Medical experts are however yet to approve the drug for treatment of the coronavirus.
“Following the news that the United States of America is using Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to treat SARS-COV-2, there has been a rush by many to acquire these medicines from pharmacies to stock them.
“… Please note that irrational use of these hydroxychloroquine may lead to irreversible blindness which is detrimental to the health of the general public,” says the board.
The Ministry says clinical trials on the use of the two medicines in view of the current COVID-19 crisis are ongoing and there is no clinical data substantiating their use for prophylaxis and curative purposes is available.
In the US, a man is reported to have died and his wife is under critical care after the two took chloroquine phosphate in an apparent attempt to self-medicate for the novel coronavirus.
Health officials in Nigeria have since issued a warning over chloroquine after three people in the country overdosed on the drug, in the wake of President Trump’s comments about using it to treat coronavirus