by Rosie McCall
Newsweek – Several hospitals in Sweden have reportedly stopped administering chloroquine to coronavirus patients following reports the drug was causing adverse side effects.
According to the national paper Expressen, hospitals in the Västra Götaland region are no longer offering the antimalarial medication, with side effects reported to include cramps and the loss of peripheral vision.
One of the patients affected was Carl Sydenhag, a 40-year-old Stockholm resident. According to Expressen, Sydenhag was prescribed two tablets of chloroquine to take daily after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 23.
But instead of making him feel better, the medication produced unpleasant side effects. As well as cramps and vision loss, Sydenhag experienced a headache that felt like stepping into “a high voltage plant,” he told the paper.
Magnus Gisslén, a professor and chief physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital infection clinic, told the Gothenburg Post he and others at the clinic administered chloroquine “like everyone else.” But as of two weeks ago, Sahlgrenska University Hospital has stopped all use of chloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19.
“There were reports of suspected more serious side effects than we first thought,” he told the Gothenburg Post on April 1, 2020. “We cannot rule out serious side effects, especially from the heart, and it is a hard-dosed drug. In addition, we have no strong evidence that chloroquine has an effect on COVID-19.”