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Lack of Coronavirus “Treatment” Endangers Lupus Pregnant Patients and Their Babies


Pregnant lupus patients and their infants are at risk because the COVID-19 panic has depleted the global supply of antimalarial drugs used to treat the disease.

Global southern health professionals warn that a lack will increase the risk of a baby being born with the painful autoimmune disease lupus.

A less toxic derivative of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been approved for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and malaria since the 1950s. U.S. President Donald Trump advertised the drug with potential for COVID-19 treatment, and even though studies began to reveal that the U.S. government sector did not provide protection from COVID-19, it made bulk purchases. I did it.

The Indian Medical Research Council recommends HCQ as a preventative treatment for healthcare professionals. Doctors expressed concern Lancet “In this global panic environment, approval by India’s best scientific institutions (and the US President) brings to the public an overly optimistic perception of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine,” self-medication and the final Is insufficient.

Utibe Effiong, a doctor at MidMichigan Health and an associate professor at the University of Central Michigan School of Medicine, SciDev.NetThe resulting accumulation and diversion of HCQ cites tens of thousands of lupus patients in his native Nigeria, endangering lupus patients, especially pregnant women.

Supply has dropped dramatically due to the closure of air and borders in Nigeria as a result of COVID-19. The country of manufacture suspended exports temporarily to save drugs for the population, and the HCQ went from 2000 Nigerian Naira (US $ 5.50) per pack of 30 tablets to N12,500 (US $ 34.70) per pack. Soared. “

Utibe Effiong, Doctor of MidMichigan Health, Medical Associate Professor of Central Michigan University

The supply of HCQ in Nigeria and most of the developing countries comes from Asia, according to Efiong, and these manufacturers are likely to prefer selling to the highest bidders.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America figures, 90% of more than 5 million lupus patients worldwide are usually women between the ages of 15 and 44. These women tend to have high maternal mortality, fewer births, and more complications during pregnancy and were found in a review of studies in developing countries.

Sebastian Herrera, a rheumatologist specializing in Medellin General Hospital and CES University in Colombia, said that despite the large number of HCQ manufacturing facilities in Colombia, the unexpected increase in demand is due to the pharmacy website Is no longer available and has become difficult to obtain. Especially outside the major cities of Colombia.

About 500,000 cases of lupus have been reported in Latin American countries over the past five years, affecting mainly women.
According to Herrera, HCQ is one of the few drugs that can reduce the risk of giving birth to a child with lupus symptoms, so the greatest impact of an HCQ deficiency is on lupus pregnant patients and their newborns. Let’s

“Hydroxychloroquine reduces the risk of this complication in some women with certain types of antibodies that increase the risk of complications in babies (newborn lupus) —others reduce this risk when not available. There is no choice. ”Addition, switching to other drugs may increase the risk of infection by altering the functioning of the patient’s immune system.

In addition, lack of HCQ can lead to the recurrence of illness in other patients, which leads to increased fatigue, absenteeism, poor mental health and increased pain, Erera said.

Akpabio Akpabio, a rheumatologist at Uyo Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, says shortages are beginning to plunge in his area of ​​southern Nigeria.

“From my own personal experience, up to 60% of lupus patients now experience a shortage of HCQ—some still have it, but many of them lack it,” he says. say.

One of the first major papers discussing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on lupus patients shows that some missed doses of HCQ may not be significant, but long-term deficiency leads to serious consequences I have observed that it is possible.

According to Akpabio, this is because there is no consensus on how long and how long patients can benefit from the drug’s protective benefits.


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