Hydroxychloroquine and Covid-19: an explainer

Medical staff shows on February 26, 2020 at the IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute in Marseille, a packet of Plaqueril, tablets containing hydroxychloroquine, drug that has shown signs of effectiveness against coronavirus.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas woman said she’s struggling to get the hydroxychloroquine she needs as its use becomes prevalent amid the pandemic.

“I tried to fill my prescription last week because I’m on my last few pills and my pharmacy told me they’re out of stock and they don’t know when, or if, they’ll get it back in stock,” Shelli Clark said.

When Clark isn’t quarantined, she’s a fourth grade teacher for the Clark County School District.  Over the last few years, she said she's been working with a doctor to fight swelling in her leg.

“He diagnosed me with a connective tissue disorder and prescribed me hydroxychloroquine which is an antimalarial medication,” she said. “It’s also helping to reduce the inflammation and making it so my leg isn’t swelling up every day.”

The swelling has gone down, but she said she wants people to understand that this drug shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“The nature of this medicine is that it can do a lot of really crazy things with your body,” Clark said. “It especially affects the retinas in your eyes. You have to be on a very strict regimen with it. You can’t stop it suddenly or start taking it again. You have to follow a set regimen with your doctor.”

Now, Clark said she’s scrambling to find a way to get her prescription filled.

According to a Bloomberg study, nearly half the supply of hydroxychloroquine that come to the U.S. comes from makers in India who just stopped exporting it to America.

According to BBC World News, India is "considering" a request by President Donald Trump to release stocks of the drug after a phone call Sunday.

“I just, I really think that they need to make sure they have it for people who need it,” Clark said. “If it’s going to make people better in the long run, then it’s a great thing. But, for people who need it on a day to day basis just to survive, I think their needs need to be taken into account as well.”

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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