Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-117

Prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQS) in COVID-19: A questionnaire-based study in health care professionals

1 Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalagiri, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Nimra Institute of Medical Sciences, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushil Sharma
Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalagiri, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_82_20

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Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has engulfed the whole world with millions getting infected and losing their lives. Health care professionals (HCPs) who are in the front line of fighting with COVID-19 are particularly vulnerable and it is crucial to protect them from COVID-19. In this regard, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended hydroxychloroquine (HCQS) chemoprophylaxis in HCPs. However, considering the lack of sufficient evidence the HCP are in a dilemma about this aspect. Moreover, there is a paucity of data on use of HCQS as a chemoprophylaxis among Indian HCP. Hence, this study was carried out to study the extent of use and also the perception of Indian HCP toward use of HCQS as a chemoprophylaxis for COVID-19. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study done on 205 HCPs working across India. The responses were collected electronically using a prevalidated semi-structured questionnaire. Results: 62.9% (129/205) respondents reported having taken HCQS chemo-prophylaxis for COVID-19 while 34.7% (76/205) did not take it. Among HCP, who did not take the prophylaxis, the main reasons cited were concern about adverse effects (61.5%) and lack of robust evidence (24%). Only 14% of respondents felt that there was sufficient evidence to justify use of HCQS for prophylaxis while an overwhelming majority (86%) felt otherwise or were uncertain. Conclusion: The majority of participants felt that despite a lack of proven efficacy, ICMR guidelines on HCQS prophylaxis in COVID-19 are justified considering the pandemic situation. Our study also found that HCQS is well tolerated by participants and there was no reported serious adverse effect and cardiac-related side effects among them.

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