BE CAUTIOUS WHILE USING HCQ FOR TREATING COVID-19 IN MYASTHENIA GRAVIS


BE CAUTIOUS WHILE USING HCQ FOR TREATING COVID-19 IN MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is anti-malarial drug, which is commonly used for treating rheumatological disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

HCQ has been recommended for prophylaxis as well as treatment of COVID-19 infection.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder resulting in neuromuscular weakness. Patients with MG have symptoms such as double vision, difficulty in swallowing and speaking and breathing difficulty. Severe cases of MG require mechanical ventilation.

HCQ treatment can cause myasthenic symptoms, and can worsen the severity of symptoms in a patient suffering from MG. It is possible that a patient with COVID-19 who has breathing difficulty, may worsen after receiving HCQ treatment. HCQ treatment may increase the risk of respiratory failure in a COVID-19 patient with comorbid myasthenia gravis.

CONCLUSIONS

1. Avoid HCQ treatment in COVID-19 patients with myasthenia gravis.

2. COIVD-19 patients with neuro-muscular disorders who are receiving HCQ should be carefully monitored in an ICU, as the risk of respiratory failure is higher.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM

Published by Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine) DM (Neurology)

I am a doctor with 25 years experience. I have worked as a neurologist for about 20 years. Educating public and healthcare professionals is very dear to me. This is possible due to my interactions with thousands of patients and their caregivers. I salute the patients who suffer and it is our duty to minimise suffering by preventing diseases and ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment of those already affected.

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