Carried away by social media posts that these drugs would improve immunity against coronavirus infection, multivitamin tablets, especially Vitamin C and D tablets, are flying off the shelves across the State.
Those with a mild infection, asymptomatic patients and people under home quarantine are using these tablets as a medication. But the rush to buy them are from those who come across social media posts and online reports that such tablets help keep COVID-19 at bay, said chemists in the city.
“Earlier, only those who had some sort of vitamin deficiency used to buy them. However, now many have taken to regular consumption of these medicines to build immunity,” said Alok Kumar, a pharmacist in Saidapet.
Another pharmacist from Apollo Pharmacy said, “The demand for Vitamin D and Vitamin C tablets has increased by about 50-60 per cent, while there is high demand for other multivitamins and zinc tablets. Though they can be bought without a prescription, we ask customers in case of bulk orders.” S Ramachandran, president of Tamil Nadu Druggists’ and Chemists’ Association said many were buying these drugs after being influenced by social media posts and reports. Deficiencies in the body can be addressed through systematic nutritious diet, he said, adding that such drugs might not keep them safe from COVID-19.
“People think these drugs will keep them safe from COVID-19. But these are just immunity-boosting drugs. Many companies have started to introduce the combo packs of these multivitamins due to huge demand,” he added.
State Drug Controller Dr K Sivabalan said there was no regulation on the sale of such drugs. “Even hospitals are giving multivitamin and zinc tablets to patients as immunity boosters. The demand has increased by about 50 per cent. However, there is no scarcity and production can be increased as per requirement,” he added.