JAMA Says Dozens of Coronavirus Patients Died after Taking Doses of The Drug Daily
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned consumers against taking malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19.
The warning, which was issued last Friday, comes after deaths and poisoning from the use of the drugs was reported.
Chloroquine was approved by FDA in 1949 to treat malaria. Hydroxychloroquine, on the other hand, was approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
The two drugs are known to have serious side effects, including muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia.
In the report, the agency said it had become aware of “serious heart rhythm problems” in patients with the virus who were treated with malaria drugs, often in combination with antibiotic azithromycin, commonly known as a Z-Pak.
Physicians were also warned against prescribing malaria drugs to COVID-19 patients.
“We will continue to investigate risks associated with the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19 and communicate publicly when we have more information.” the agency wrote in a notice.
The peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association recently disclosed that researchers had stopped a study testing chloroquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19 over safety concerns, citing a “primary outcome” of death. It is reported that about a dozen patients died and some developed irregular heart rates after taking doses of the drug daily.
JAMA had shared the study findings with the scientific community before being made public on Friday.
At the moment, there is no proven cure for coronavirus which has already infected more than 2.7 million people worldwide. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, at least 191,231 people have died from the disease.