What You Need to Know About Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine is in a class of drugs known as antimalarials and is prescribed to prevent and treat malaria, a red blood cell infection spread by mosquitoes. Many people take it before traveling to areas that have a high risk of malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is also commonly used to treat some autoimmune diseases. 

This medication has gotten a lot more attention recently due to conflicting reports on its effectiveness in treating the COVID-19 virus. There were various studies conducted that pointed to the possibility that Hydroxychloroquine could be used as a preventative measure against COVID-19. However, most of these studies were discredited for various reasons, including a lack of control groups. Now, it seems that the use of Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients, especially those with certain underlying health conditions may cause severe, fatal complications. 

With Hydroxychloroquine being at the center of controversy and all over the news recently, comes more discourse and more questions. We put together this guide to the drug to demystify any confusion as well as help answer some common questions. 

If Your Loved One Took Hydroxychloroquine and Suffered From Complications, Are You Entitled to Government Compensation?

The Countermeasure Injury Compensation Program (CICP) is a government program created to provide benefits to those who are seriously injured or die due to covered countermeasures. A countermeasure is “a vaccination, antiviral, medication, device, or other means recommended to diagnose, prevent or treat a declared pandemic, epidemic, or security threat.” .

If your loved one received Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 and you believe it was a contributing factor in their illness or death, you have one year from the date it was administered to them to file for countermeasure benefits. CICP is the last resort, so they will pay out what is not covered by health insurance and other third parties. Compensation may include medical expenses, loss of income, benefits to the estate, and survivor death benefits. 

Is Hydroxychloroquine FDA approved?

Yes, Hydroxychloroquine is FDA-approved. It’s approved for the prevention or treatment of malaria in adults and children. It is not currently approved, however, as a treatment for COVID-19. 

Hydroxychloroquine is also FDA- approved to treat autoimmune diseases such as:

  • chronic discoid lupus erythematosus
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (adults)
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Can Hydroxychloroquine Be Used to Treat Covid-19?

There has been much controversy surrounding the use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients. Early in the pandemic, the FDA approved the emergency use of the drug to prevent and treat the Coronavirus. 

Studies have shown that the drug either showed no benefit or caused severe problems, like heart issues, in some COVID patients.

As a result, the FDA later revoked the emergency use. The National Institute of Health also suspended clinical trials of the medication.  

Side Effects of Hydroxychloroquine

As with any medication, there is always a chance of unwanted side effects. 

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • loss of appetite/weight loss
  • feeling nervous or irritable
  • skin rash or itching
  • hair loss

Reach out to your physician if any of the above symptoms worsen in severity or don’t go away. You should contact your doctor or seek emergency care right away if you experience any of the following:

  • slow heart rate
  • irregular/fast heart rate 
  • heart failure (shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, sudden weight gain)
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  •  signs of infection (sore throat that doesn’t go away, fever)
  • mental/mood changes
  • thoughts of suicide
  • hallucinations
  • hearing loss
  • symptoms of liver disease (severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine)
  • uncontrollable movements
  • severe dizziness/fainting
  • seizures
  • low blood sugar
  • sensitivity to light/vision changes ( light flashes/streaks, blurred vision, difficulty reading)

Final Thoughts

It’s important to know that no evidence shows taking Hydroxychloroquine will prevent you from getting COVID. If you are already taking it for lupus or other autoimmune diseases, you are still considered high risk and should follow the guidelines of the CDC and your doctor. 

If you or a loved one thinks they might be entitled to government compensation contact us at IPG Law Group for a free consultation.

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