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Fact Check: Can hydroxychloroquine be made at home using grapefruit and lemons?

Quick Take

A social media post claims hydroxychloroquine be made at home using grapefruit and lemons. We fact checked and found this claim to be False.

The Claim

A social media post is claiming to provide the recipe for preparing Hydroxychloroquine at home using grapefruit and lemons. The posts can be found here and a screenshot is attached below.

Fact Check

What is Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)?

Chloroquine is an antimalarial drug that was developed in 1934. Hydroxychloroquine, an analogue of chloroquine, was developed in 1946. Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to malaria.

Can Hydroxychloroquine be used to treat Covid?

The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel (the Panel) recommends against the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine and/or azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients (AI) and in nonhospitalized patients (AIIa).

In India, even though HCQ was considered as a treatment option initially, HCQ was dropped from the clinical guidance after studies found that these drugs have little to no effect on Covid-related mortality or clinical recovery of the patient.

Can hydroxychloroquine be made at home using grapefruit and lemon rinds?

No. Quinine is a quinidine alkaloid. It is a natural product found in the bark of cinchona trees. HCQ has a peculiar structure which can’t be replicated with using grapefruit and lemons. The drug HCQ can be prepared only in labs by pharmacologists.

Mandeep Singh

Mandeep Singh, Pharmacist and Nutrition Executive, states that the claim is absolutely not true, “Hydroxychloroquine is a synthetic drug which is made in the lab. The molecules of Hydroxychloroquine and Grapefruit with lemon are completely different. Hence, a homemade recipe for hydroxychloroquine is baseless.”

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