MANILA – A netizen appealed to the public not to hoard medicine for lupus which is among those eyed in other countries as a possible cure for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
On a Facebook post on March 25, former child star Marge Torralba said Hydroxychloroquine sulfate under the brand name Plaquenil is among the drugs prescribed by doctors for her treatment.
“It’s one important drug that I and my daughter take for our lupus. It’s part of our maintenance. Please if you don’t need it don’t buy it because we need it more to survive,” Torralba said.
Her appeal comes as the drug’s local supply ran short following reports from abroad that it is eyed as a possible treatment for Covid-19.
“Some drug stores are (withholding) its sale. Some are out of stock. Even any brand is not available,” Torralba said.
Physicians have also reminded the public against experimenting and self-medicating, noting that only an infection specialist doctor should be allowed to determine the proper time and right dosage of administering the medicine which some studies suggest may increase health risks, including the risk of cardiovascular death.
US President Donald Trump tweeted this week that the US Food and Drug Administration is eyeing two anti-virals — Remdesivir and Hydroxycholoroquine — as treatment against the symptoms of Covid-19.
Reports said the two drugs will be available in the US via prescription and governors of individual states will be responsible for their distribution.
NBC News, in a March 24 report, said the drug which is relied upon by an estimated 1.5 million lupus sufferers in the US is starting to go on short supply even as US experts have repeatedly emphasized the need to complete large clinical studies to determine the effectivity in fighting the virus.
In the Philippines, authorities have been warning the public not to believe unverified reports of any cure for the disease.
There are 707 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country, with 45 deaths and 28 cases of recovery. (ia/PNA)