FDA: Don't use chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 preventive drugs

FDA: Don't use chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 preventive drugs

FDA: Don't use chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 preventive drugs

It is a new disease and drug development takes many years, so doctors are using re-purposed drugs on coronavirus patients in the hope that they work.

Chloroquine as well as another drug that Trump endorsed, hydroxychloroquine, are now being studied for use against COVID-19 because they have been shown in laboratories to be effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, including the one that causes COVID-19.

Renowned pharmacist Yasir Hashmi said people were using the anti-malarial drug as an over the counter drug to prevent and treat coronavirus.

He even said that the US Food and Drug Administration has been working "to approve the drug much faster than normal to treat COVID-19".

President Trump on Saturday said it would be a "gift from heaven" if several drugs end up having a real effect in helping combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Global media reports said that at least one person died in the United States after taking the drug, while others have been hospitalised in Nigeria. Here it is to be noted that no 100% proven drugs or vaccines are yet available for Covid-19 and social distancing or isolation is understood to be the only way to break the chain of transmission.

NBC reported that a woman in Arizona, who heard Trump talk about chloroquine, ended up in hospital and her husband died after they took a form of chloroquine she had used to treat her koi fish.

Kayode Fabunmi, a Lagos-based lawyer, said: "The pharmacist knew the market and was saying to every incoming customer, 'You know Donald Trump has said this thing cures coronavirus, ' and the price kept changing". The research found that the drug was no better than the current treatment of oxygen, fluids, antiviral drugs, and bed rest.

"It has a lot of potential, though we're not going on a lot of data yet", he said. Clinical trials can help extract critical information on its use and dosage, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The aquarium additive the couple ingested is not the same as the medication that has been used to treat malaria.

When asked if the drug was promising Friday, Fauci, standing next to Trump, said "the answer is no" because "the evidence you're talking about ... is anecdotal evidence".

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