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Jakarta Post

Experts urge caution on self-medication, side-effects of chloroquine

  • Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, March 27 2020   /  01:03 am

Experts are warning the public against panic-buying chloroquine phosphate, an antimalarial drug thought to be a possible treatment for COVID-19, citing the dangerous side effects of the medicine.

Reports have surfaced that people had started to purchase the drug without a doctors’ prescription after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced last Friday that the government was preparing medicines, including 3 million doses of chloroquine, which he described as “having been proven to cure COVID-19 in other countries”.

Maksum Radji, a clinical microbiologist at the University of Indonesia’s (UI) School of Pharmacy, said the government must be careful in distributing information about the drug as clinical trials were still underway to measure its effectiveness in treating COVID-19. Even then, any consumption of the drug must be done under a doctor’s supervision, he...