U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Friday cautioned against the use of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients even as President Trump, who has touted it as a game-changer, advocated for a further review.
The drug, first approved in 1955, provided no benefit and a potentially higher risk of death for sufferers at U.S. veterans hospitals, based on an analysis that has been submitted for an expert assessment Tuesday.
Trump stated he had just spoken with the president of Honduras, who had lauded the drug when calling to ask for ventilators. “If it works, I believe everyone would be in favor of it… check with him, call him.”
The FDA stated Friday it was aware of the elevated use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine through outpatient prescriptions, and the malaria drugs may trigger abnormal heart rhythms and dangerously speed up the heart rate.
COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has no approved therapy or vaccine. But hydroxychloroquine has been broadly utilized in an try to change the course of the COVID-19 sickness based on anecdotal experiences that it may present some profit.
There are several randomized trials underway in the U.S. and elsewhere, with the National Institutes of Health last week beginning a study to gauge the safety and the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.
A research crew in Marseilles, France, featured data showing that out of 80 mild COVID-19 sufferers treated with hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic azithromycin, 93% had no detectable levels of the virus after eight days.
Doctors have questioned the value of the Marseille examination and several papers from China as being too small or poorly designed to offer substantial proof of benefit.