Egypt’s health ministry is warning the public against taking excessive amounts of vitamins and medications as an anti-coronavirus measure without medical supervision .
Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement on Sunday that the use of vitamins and medications should be under medical supervision and for a specified period.
The excessive consumption of vitamins could lead to kidney problems and reduces the effectiveness of medications in treating infections, Megahed said.
The warning by the health ministry comes weeks after the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) said that taking excessive amounts of medications and vitamins without prescriptions has grave side effects.
The EDA issued the warning following shortages of medications including vitamins C, D, and zinc in pharmacies. The shortage took place after some social media users – including doctors and pharmacists – recommended these vitamins as a way to boost the immune system against coronavirus.
The drug authority reiterated the health ministry’s appeal to not hoard immune-system medicines, nutritional supplements and vitamins, particularly those included in the Egyptian treatment protocol for the coronavirus.
In March, the Egyptian medical syndicate called on its members to not prescribe any drugs through social media or without conducting a medical examination.
Prescribing treatment for COVID-19 on social media could lead to undesirable consequences and cause shortages in drugs that are important in treating other diseases, the syndicate said.
As of Sunday, Egypt has recorded a total of 92,062 coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in February, including a death toll of 4,606 and 33,831 recoveries.
Egypt has been recording less than 1,000 coronavirus cases per day for more than two weeks now as it continues a gradual reopening of the country.