The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has warned physicians, pharmacists and caregivers in the continent not to prescribe chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, remdesivir or related medications for the treatment of COVID-19.
A recent Press statement from the centre stated that Africa CDC is concerned about inaccurate information being distributed through traditional and social media regarding the prevention and treatment of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Based on the review of evidence and expert assessment, Africa CDC recommends that physicians should not prescribe, and individuals should not take chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19 except under a clinical trial or Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions.
“These drugs can cause neurologic, ophthalmic, cardiac and other forms of toxicity,” Africa CDC warned.
It added that physicians should also not prescribe lopinavir, remdesivir or other medications to prevent or treat coronavirus, “except for clinical trial or MEURI.”
The centre, however, recommended that paracetamol, acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used to relieve symptoms of fever and myalgia [muscle ache] due to viral infection.
It urged physicians in Africa to use evidence-based guidance when treating people with COVID-19 infection such as in the WHO-recommended clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when the novel coronavirus infection is suspected.
“We also advise that all clinical trials and MEURI should follow the WHO guidance on ethical issues in infectious disease outbreaks,” it counselled.
The centre promised to “continuously update its guidance based on the latest available evidence.”