NAFDAC to Stock Chloroquine as Potential COVID-19 Treatment
The Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC),Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has ordered for the immediate production of Chloroquine for Possible Clinical Trial Treatment of Coronavirus.
The Managing Director in a press release on Monday stated that it was necessary to manufacture more stock to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the eventuality of a surge in numbers.
Adeyeye, also advised that people should desist from its use without the guidance of a medical doctor or clinician, stating that an abuse of the drug could lead to gastrointestinal upset, blurred vision, headache, and pruritis (itching).
She said,” As stated in my press briefing on March 20, 2020, NAFDAC is giving expedited provisional approvals for the manufacture of any commodities for preventing or contracting the disease, (sanitizers) drugs or medical device that could be used for the clinical trial testing and treatment of COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is NAFDAC opting for chloroquine use?
The report of the drug’s effectiveness in combating coronavirus by researchers around the world has prompted the decision of NAFDAC Chief to manufacture more of the drugs in Nigeria.
”The products should have been previously reported for clinical trial treatments in reputable scientific journals or technical literature as safe and effective.
”Other researchers in France, US have used the drug for clinical trial treatment of COVID-19 and they reported effectiveness of the drug.
”Lagos State will be starting a clinical trial on chloroquine to evaluate the effectiveness.
”Chloroquine works by increasing endosomal pH from the acidic environment required for virus/cell fusion, resulting in the inhibition of infection of SARS-CoV.
” It also interferes with the glycosylation of cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may inhibit the virus-receptor binding and terminate the infection.
” The antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of chloroquine contribute to the efficacy in treating COVID-19 patients.
”NAFDAC advises the public to desist from its use without the guidance of a medical doctor or clinician for cases of clinical trial treatment of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the State Council of China during a press briefing said that chlorine showed to be effective and was safe to be used in the treatment of the coronavirus disease.
According to the Chinese State Council, the test was used in ten hospitals in Wuhan, Jingzhou, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Ningbo and on 100 patients and it showed that chloroquine phosphate could be effective in controlling pneumonia associated with coronavirus disease