UPDATED: Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Information

It has come to our attention that there is some confusion over prescribing and dispensing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. The Board of Pharmacy did not restrict the usage of these medications. At the time of the previous guidance issued, there was a shortage, and many hospitals were using this medication as a key therapy.

As current efforts are underway to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, concern has been reported on the issuance of prescriptions and dispensing of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine by pharmacies for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The Board of Pharmacy has no purview over medications that a provider prescribes. Pharmacists should exercise caution dispensing these medications in a community setting.

At present, the FDA has not approved the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 prophylaxis or treatment. The prescribing physician should monitor a patient’s care.

Medication side effects, drug interactions, contraindications and laboratory monitoring requirements should also be considered when dispensing these medications for the treatment of COVID-19. There is a potential for toxicity. Meeting those monitoring needs for patients could be limited.

Pharmacists and prescribers must also consider that patients currently taking hydroxychloroquine for FDA approved indications could be affected by this prescribing. Pharmacists should monitor supplies of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for medication availability.

Providers prescribing hydroxychloroquine to patients for other indications (i.e., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis) are encouraged to note the indication on any new prescription issued.

Please note, pharmacists are encouraged to use their professional judgement and as always, are allowed to deny prescriptions based on this judgement as necessary.

This is a constantly evolving situation. As additional data is available, current information could be subject to change. Please continue to check your email from the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy and our website, www.mbp.ms.gov, for updated information pertaining to COVID-19.

 

Sincerely,

Jillian Foster

President

Mississippi Board of Pharmacy

Susan McCoy

Executive Director

Mississippi Board of Pharmacy

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Article Date:   8/4/2020    |   Expiration Date:   10/1/2020


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