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Covid: India drops plasma therapy from clinical treatment guidelines

Web Report/New Delhi
Filed on May 18, 2021

The ICMR guidelines continue to recommend ivermerctin and hydroxychloroquine for mild disease.


Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) has been dropped from India’s national clinical management protocol for Covid-19 as it offered no therapeutic benefits to patients.

Blood plasma from those who recovered from Covid-19 was used to help others. Incidentally, the decision was taken three days after the Lancet medical journal published findings of the largest randomised trial on the effects of convalescent plasma in patients at hospitals. Studies in the Netherlands and China have also shown no benefits of CPT in improving patients.

The decision was taken on Monday after the task force of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) discussed the issue. The members went through various reports before taking a decision. “It was a well-thought-out decision, especially with reports of indiscriminate use of plasma therapy having come to light at some places,” a member of ICMR was quoted in the media.

CPT had earlier been found ineffective and an ICMR study in October had also revealed that it was not associated with the reduction to severe Covid-19 or all-cause mortality.

But the ICMR guidelines continue to recommend ivermerctin and hydroxychloroquine for mild disease. However, they point out that both drugs had “low certainty of evidence”.





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