The Ministry of Health is aware of an increase in the public’s request for the drugs Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine as possible treatment options for COVID-19. The Ministry reminds the public that there are no approved drugs for the specific treatment of COVID-19. While the aforementioned drugs have been used experimentally for the management of COVID-19 patients, the Ministry of Health strongly advises the public against self-medicating with any of these drugs.

Several countries including Nigeria and the United States have reported chloroquine poisonings as a result of self-medication. Please be advised that both drugs have been linked to electrocardiogram changes which can be detrimental, especially in patients with pre-existing heart conditions. Side effects include liver injury and eye damage among others.

The public is reminded that these drugs are sold by prescription only. It is an offence to sell any of these prescription medications without a valid prescription; as such, any establishment in violation of this regulation may face repercussions.