France on Wednesday (local time) officially banned hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 after a series of medical studies revealed that the malaria drug could be harmful.
The decision came a day after French health orgsations, namely, the HCSP health advisory and ANSM drugs agency, advised against using hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment, considering its negative side effects.
Moreover, the agency announced that like the World Health Orgsation (WHO) did on Monday, it would also pause clinical trials with the drug amid safety measures.
"...This drug (hydroxychloroquine) should not be prescribed to patients with COVID-19," a statement published by the French Health Ministry said.
The French authorities allowed the use of hydroxychloroquine, also prescribed against malaria, in hospitals for COVID-19 patients at the end of March, as there has been no vaccine or any other approved treatment against the disease.
However, according to the study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, the drug increases the risk of death among the ill and worsens other symptoms, as other studies have concluded.
Notably, the drug has its supporters. Particularly, US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus.
As of Wednesday, France has reported 182,847 COVID-19 cases, the world's seventh-highest total, with 28,533 related fatalities. (Sputnik/)
( With inputs from ANI )