The drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can cause dangerous abnormalities in heart rhythm in coronavirus patients, and should be used only in clinical trials or hospitals where patients can be closely monitored for heart problems, the Food and Drug Administration warned in a safety communication issued.
“The F.D.A. is aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems in patients with Covid-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, often in combination with azithromycin” and other drugs that can disrupt heart rhythm, the agency said. The statement also noted that many people were getting outpatient prescriptions for the drugs in the hopes of preventing the infection or treating it themselves.
The warning is based on a review of adverse events reported from multiple sources, the agency said, adding: “These adverse events were reported from the hospital and outpatient settings for treating or preventing COVID-19, and included QT interval prolongation, ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation, and in some cases death.”
Mr. Trump has advocated their use repeatedly, sometimes combination with azithromycin, an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections, not viral diseases. His repeated promotion of the use of the anti-malaria drugs is at odds with many of his top public health officials. What a waste of resource. So now government agencies need to waste time to fix Trump’s advice to people. The F.D.A. warned that drugs Trump keeps recommending cause dangerous side effects including fatal abnormalities in heart rhythm. There is no proof that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can help coronavirus patients. They are approved to treat malaria and the autoimmune diseases lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The maker of Lysol and other disinfectants issued a warning against improper use of its products after President Trump touted their power to kill the virus.