Some drugs that had been used for COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic proved ineffective, said the COVID-19 Task Force for the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) Prof. Zubairi Djoerban.
“Drugs that were previously used for Covid-19 and have now proven useless, even causing serious side effects in some cases are: Ivermectin, Chloroquine, Oseltamivir, Plasma convalescent, and Azithromycin,” wrote Djoerban on his Twitter account, @ProfesorZubairi, on Saturday 5th February.
Of these drugs, Djoerban explained in detail the effectiveness of the drugs previously used to fight the coronavirus.
List of COVID-19 drugs that are ineffective according to IDI
Ivermectin is not approved for COVID-19 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), or the European Union drug regulator.
“There are many reports of patients requiring medical attention, including hospitalisation, after taking Ivermectin,” he said.
Another COVID-19 drug which is also considered dangerous to health is chloroquine. Although it has been widely used by hundreds of thousands of people in the world, the drug is proven to be harmful to heart health.
“There are no antiviral benefits, chloroquine should not be used anymore,” continued Djoerban.
Furthermore, Oseltamivir, which has also been used for the treatment of COVID-19, has no benefit for patients. This drug, Djoerban said, is a treatment for influenza. In addition, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that Oseltamivir can treat COVID-19.
“In fact, the WHO has declared this drug useless for COVID-19, except when you are tested positive for influenza, which is very rare in Indonesia,” he added.
Until now, there are several options for antiviral drugs such as Avigan or Favipiravir, Molnupiravir, and Remdesivir. The administration of drugs should also be adjusted according to the advice of the doctor.
4. Convalescent plasma
“Besides being completely useless, giving convalescent plasma is also expensive and the process is very time consuming,” he explained.
The WHO does not recommend this drug except in the context of randomized controlled trials. Convalescent plasma is a therapy that uses plasma cells belonging to donated COVID-19 survivors so that later they are given to COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
“This drug is also ineffective as a COVID-19 therapy, both on a mild and moderate scale. Unless you find bacteria – other than the virus that causes COVID-19 in your body. If it’s only COVID-19, then this drug is not needed,” he concluded.
Director of Prevention and Control of Directly Infectious Diseases of the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said these drugs are no longer used.
There are drug options other than Remdesivir, including Favipiravir, Molnupiravir, and Nirmatrelvir or Ritonavir (Paxlovid). Furthermore, COVID-19 patients are also recommended to be given 200-400 mg of vitamin C every eight hours.
Further, they can receive a vitamin B1 ampoule every 24 hours and a dose of 1000-5000 IU vitamin D per day.
“The telemedicine package A for patients without symptoms consists of multivitamin C, B, E, Zinc dose 1 x 1 in the amount of 10,” said Nadia.
Package B, for mild symptoms, consists of Favipiravir 200 mg in 40 caplets or Molnupiravir 200 mg in 40, and Paracetamol tab 500 mg in total 10, a dose if necessary.