Despite alarming information, many countries continued to use the popular drug.
This concerns the drug chloroquine, and its derivative hydroxychloroquine.
“Many other countries continued for a long time and advocated that chloroquine was effective, without any scientific basis,” Magnus Gisslén, state epidemiologist and professor of infectious diseases at the Sahlgrenska Academy, told GD according to Dagens.se.
The drug chloroquine began to be used shortly after the outbreak of Covid-19.
Many thousands of people used the drug in the hope of recovery.
The drug was not new to the market; it was approved for the treatment of certain rheumatic diseases and malaria.
With the spread of Covid-19, chloroquine was prescribed in enormous amounts, to the extent that it was nearly depleted.
Hospitals Raised Alarm
In 2020, the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg went against the trend and stopped the drug.
The reason was that studies began to emerge.
Studies that questioned the positive effects of the drug. Some reports questioned the so-called positive effects and suggested that the drug could be directly dangerous.
Some reports began to witness side effects from the heart.
“We should never have started using it, but we did. Then, fortunately, we stopped very quickly,” says Magnus Gisslén, state epidemiologist and professor of infectious diseases at the Sahlgrenska Academy, to GD.
At the time of the outbreak, he worked as a chief physician at the infectious diseases clinic at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
Gisslén was the one who took the initiative for the hospital to become the first in Sweden, and one of the first in the world, to stop the use of chloroquine for Covid patients.
For the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, researchers have now estimated that nearly 17,000 people may have died from side effects of the medicine worldwide, according to Sveriges radio.
At the end of 2019, a new virus was confirmed in the city of Wuhan in China. The virus came to be known worldwide as Covid-19.
The spread of infection is thought to have initially occurred from animal to human at a market, but eventually turned out to be transmissible from person to person.
In March 2020, WHO classified the outbreak as a pandemic.
As of 2024, the outbreak is still ongoing.