June 30, 2020, 05.01 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesia Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) is warning people not to use hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and dexamethasone to treat Covid-19 without consulting a physician.

BPOM’s Drug Registration Director Rizka Andalucia on Monday, June 29 said the three drugs are categorized as products available to the public on prescription only.

“We call on the people not to consume hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine or dexamethasone without a doctor's prescription," Rizka said in a press conference at Graha BNPB.

"It should (only be taken) under strict doctor supervision," he added.

Rizka went on to say that once it’s being prescribed by a doctor, he urged the public to buy the drugs at a legal pharmaceutical shop. It is not advisable to buy the drugs through unregistered online stores, which can put people's safety at risk.

Sharing the sentiment, Chairperson of the Indonesian Lung Doctor Association (PDPI) Agus Dwi Susanto said people should not consume dexamethasone and chloroquine aimlessly to cure the coronavirus.

Also read: Indonesias Covid-19 Task Force Responds to Coronavirus Hotspot Claims

Agus said dexamethasone should be used to treat Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms and requires ventilators and oxygen therapy.

Similar treatment should also be done to chloroquine. The drug should only be consumed by patients under 50 years old, hospitalized Covid-19 patients, and are not recommended for people who have heart disease.

“Discontinue the medicine if it causes unpleasant side effects,” Agus said, adding these are the reasons why the drugs should not be consumed irresponsibly.

Previously, he said, the use of hydroxychloroquine was allowed to treat Covid-19 patients because the drug is not linked to increased risk of death.

Based on research, the risk of death of Covid-19 patients without consuming hydroxychloroquine was higher than patients who had been given hydroxychloroquine.

“It means the drug is not linked to increased risk of death. And the duration of the treatment is shorter [for patients who have consumed hydroxychloroquine]. This is just an initial data,” Agus said.

Media reported that the drugs are used globally to temporarily treat patients with Covid-19. However, they are not the main drugs for curing Covid-19. Until now, there is no medicine proven to prevent and cure patients from contracting Covid-19.

(Writer : Sania Mashabi | Editor : Fabian Januarius Kuwado, Bayu Galih )

Sources: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/06/29/18084221/bpom-imbau-masyarakat-tak-gunakan-tiga-obat-ini-secara-bebas.

https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/06/29/17064331/dexamethasone-dan-chloroquine-tak-bisa-digunakan-tanpa-pengawasan-dokter.

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