In Mumbai, the central health ministry provided an evidence based treatment plan for coronavirus affected patients. The new prescription has dropped several common drugs used in households during the covid pandemic.The new guidelines promotes the use of only four medicines which are oxygen, steroids, tocilizumab (only in specific blood parameters) and anticoagulants for those patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension and so on.

The new prescription clearly mentions that these medicines are for moderate to severe covid stages when one needs to be hospitalized. In case of mild covid one must opt for fever reducing and cough medicines. 

One of the commonly used drugs which is not mentioned in the new prescription is antiviral favipiravir. It was the largest selling drug in the month of April in India. Now, it could not be found anywhere in the website of the directorate general of health services (DGHS). Another common drug, remdesivir, is only advised for limited use under the prescription of a senior doctor. This is due to the fact that remdesivir is an experimental drug and could be lethal.

Since the last fifteen months, a lot of covid patients used to get the medicine prescription of six to eight drugs as soon as they were diagnosed.Dr SP Kalantri from Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha says, “The poly-pharmacy phenomenon was irrational. We are extremely happy that these guidelines have been drawn up on robust evidence”. 

Some other common antibiotics which are not present in the list are azithromycin, doxycycline, and ivermectin (used for treating filariasis). Zinc supplements and Vitamin A,B,C,D are also nowhere to be found in the list. It was previously specified by the Union and State government to take a fifteen to thirty day course of vitamin C and D and zinc supplements.

Dr. Madhu Pai, a global health expert from Mcgill University in Canada said, “ I am delighted to see these new evidence based covid guidelines. This will not only save lives, but also reduce costs for patients”. WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaninathan wholeheartedly welcomed India’s new covid guidelines. Dr. Lancelot Pinto, a pulmonologist from Mumbai said, “ I have never prescribed ivermectin, doxycycline, or favipiravir to any of my covid patients, but had to explain why”. He says that now he can stop being apologetic to his patients.

Summary

The government has issued new guidelines for covid prescription and has dropped many medicines that were previously very commonly used in Indian households. Those medicines include favipiravir, remdesivir, zinc supplements, vitamin A,B,C,D. Zinc supplements and the vitamins were previously prescribed by the union and state governments but they are not mentioned in the new guidelines. The new covid prescription states the use of only four medicines which are oxygen, steroids, tocilizumab and anticoagulants. They should only be used in moderate to severe covid. Medicines for reducing fever and cough are advised for mild covid.

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