In an analysis of COVID-19 drugs, the Turkish Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Association urged against the use of hydroxychloroquine, sold under the name “Plaquenil” in Turkey, to treat the virus due to the risk of unwanted cardiac side effects.
The controversial drug has been widely used in Turkey to treat COVID-19 patients, but it was banned in other countries such as France and trials of the drug were suspended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May.
The association said in their study that the drug should not be used on patients, whether they are asymptomatic or have light, medium, or severe symptoms, indicating a categorical dismissal of the disputed drug on the grounds that the cardiac side effects that the drug may cause could be fatal.
Since coronavirus reached Turkey in March, a number of Turkish medical experts have warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine, which has been used to treat tens of thousands of coronavirus patients nationwide.
The experts have pointed to the heart-related side effects, the international bans and have said that Turkish doctors are administering the controversial drug primarily out of desperation as healthcare resources have been pushed to their limits.