Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC, has ordered for an emergency production of Chloroquine for Clinical Trial Treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Professor Adeyeye, made directives known on monday morning as he addressed people on the Agency’s step to salvage the COVID-19 pandemic.
She called on the people not to use the drug (chloroquine) without the guidance and prescription from a medical doctor or clinician.
However, the NAFDAC Director went further to addressed the public that an abuse of the drug could lead to gastrointestinal upset, blurred vision, headache, and pruritis (itching).
She said, “As stated in my press briefing on March 20, 2020, NAFDAC is giving expedited provisional approvals for the manufacture of any commodities for preventing or contracting the disease, (sanitizers) drugs or medical device that could be used for the clinical trial testing and treatment of COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The Agency had reduced the 120 working days for approval to 10 days due to the crisis.”
“The products should have been previously reported for clinical trial treatments in reputable scientific journals or technical literature as safe and effective.”
“Other researchers in France, the US have used the drug for the clinical trial treatment of COVID-19 and they reported the effectiveness of the drug.”
“Lagos State will be starting a clinical trial on chloroquine to evaluate the effectiveness.”
“Chloroquine works by increasing endosomal pH from the acidic environment required for virus/cell fusion, resulting in the inhibition of infection of SARS-CoV.”
“It also interferes with the glycosylation of cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may inhibit the virus-receptor binding and terminate the infection.”
“The antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of chloroquine contribute to the efficacy in treating COVID-19 patients.”
“NAFDAC advises the public to desist from its use without the guidance of a medical doctor or clinician for cases of clinical trial treatment of COVID-19.”
“It has side effects such as gastrointestinal upset, blurred vision, headache and pruritis (itching).”
“The itching can be relieved by using an antihistamine. Prolonged use can also cause retinopathy or vision impairment.”
“The Agency will ensure that the clinical trial protocol guidelines are followed.”
“I wish the clinical research teams great success in stopping the raging pandemic.”
“The mandate of NAFDAC is to safeguard the health of the country.”