Hydroxychloroquine can lead to sudden cardiac arrests in some patients. The potential adverse effects of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin also include Cardiac arrhythmias, Hypoglycemia, Neuropsychiatric effects, such as hallucinations, paranoia, agitation, and confusion.
Azithromycin is an antibiotic that is being prescribed for the treatment of coronavirus. These drugs might interact with other medications that the patients are using leading to some additional adverse side effects.
Additionally, both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are metabolized by hepatic cytochrome P450 enzyme 2D6 (CYP2D6). The enzyme is expressed differently among individuals due to genetic polymorphisms. This genetic variability influences the response to treatment and increases the risk of unwanted adverse effects.
Electrocardiogram recordings of patients involved with hydroxychloroquine trials were being constantly monitored for adverse effects. ECG monitoring highlights the major risk of serious accidents in a patient.
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are highly toxic if overdosed. Overdose of these medications can cause seizures, coma, and cardiac arrest. The use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 can lead to drug shortages, especially for patients with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Making it difficult for people who need them to access the drug.
A review published in the Candian Medical Association Journal showed the poor quality of evidence that supports this treatment. The scientists suggest that while these treatments might be beneficial in some patients with COVID-19 they warn that these treatments could also worsen the disease.