The Union Health Ministry has revised the list of drugs to be used to treat Covid-19, dropping the use of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and anti-viral favipiravir from the treatment guideline. This was after a section of doctors and medical researchers questioned the lack of scientific evidence that these drugs are helpful in treating Covid patients.
The guidelines for the management of Covid patients, released by the Union Health Ministry and Family Welfare skip mention of ivermectin and doxycycline, two widely prescribed medicines across the country, as well as hydroxychloroquine which was sought after during the first wave. The guidelines also skip the use of antibiotics.
A typical prescription for Covid in India includes azithromycin, doxycycline, ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, acetylcysteine, and inhaled budesonide, or dexamethasone. The DGHS has issued guidelines to stop the use of all these medicines, except those to treat symptoms, for mild cases.
The latest SOPs also list clearly who should be using Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, along with who exactly must take steroids. For mild Covid infection, asymptomatic patients can continue medications for other comorbid conditions and can avoid visiting hospitals with a six-minute walk test three to four times a day.
Medicines to be given to patients with a mild infection, only to relieve symptoms. The patients must self-monitor fever, breathlessness and SpO2 levels. The DGHS also mentioned that steroids are harmful in asymptomatic and mild cases of Covid and strictly warned against self-medication of steroids.