Get doctor’s OK before using Chinese traditional drug vs COVID-19: expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2020 08:25 AM

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The public needs to consult a doctor before taking a traditional medicine used in China to treat coronavirus patients, an expert said Tuesday.

One can only use Lianhua Qingwen herbal capsules if their COVID-19 symptoms match the traditional indications that the drug treats, including asthma-like cough, fever and muscle pains, said Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue of the Philippine General Hospital.

“Pero sinong magsasabi na ka-match niya? Kaya kailangan na professional ang magsasabi na puwede ito para sa ‘yo,” said Gatue, who specializes in traditional Chinese medicine.

(But who will tell you that the symptoms match? This is why you need an expert to tell you if you can take it.)

Lianhua Qingwen contains Ma Huang, a weed from which ephedrine is extracted. Ephedrine is a bronchodilator that opens up airways in the lungs and could be risky for those with high blood pressure or taking certain psychiatric drugs, he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

The Dangerous Drug Board classifies ephedrine as a regulated substance because it can be used as a precursor to make illegal drugs. This why it can only be prescribed by physicians with a special license S2, he added.

“Do not get it from illegal sources… Get it with a prescription,” Gatue said.

Watch his full interview here.

TeleRadyo, Sept. 1, 2020