Acute effects of hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis for COVID-19 in health care professionals – An online survey

Dalai, Chanchal Kumar ; Sarkar, Debina ; Ghosh, Abhishek ; Ahmed, Shah Newaz ; Das, Subir Kumar ; Roy, Suman Kumar ; Mukhopadhyay, Keshab


Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial, is being used worldwide for prophylaxis and treatment of Corona virus disease-19 (COVID-19). Though the drug is commonly used in many chronic inflammatory diseases for protracted periods, its safety in the new indication is still under scrutiny. Therefore, this institute based study sought to assess the acute adverse effects of hydroxychloroquine among in-house health care professionals who were taking the drug for COVID-19 prophylaxis. A questionnaire seeking information on the use of the drug was prepared and disseminated electronically to the target population. The responses were also received electronically and analysed. The participants (n=54) had taken prophylaxis for 1-7 weeks. The most common adverse effects in the cohort were nausea (02) and skin rash (02). The total number of adverse effects reported by the participants was 08. One incidence each of gastric upset (01), dizziness (01), pain abdomen (01), and chest tightness (01) was reported. None of the adverse effects were serious. Our study indicates that the prophylactic weekly single dose of hydroxychloroquine is not associated with any serious adverse effects within 1-7 weeks of initiation. Elucidation of the long term and chronic adverse effects, if any, requires further studies.


Hydroxychloroquine; Ondansetron; Prophylaxis; Systemic lupus erythematous

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