USA revokes use of hydroxychloroquine to cure COVID-19

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 17, 2020

Citing the "totality of scientific evidence available", Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Chief Scientist Denise M. Hinton wrote on Monday that it was "no longer reasonable to believe" that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) may be effective against the novel coronavirus, as outlined in the emergency authorization EUA 039 from April 2020. "This action was taken following a rigorous assessment by scientists in our Center for Drug Evaluation and Research", Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, the acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation, said in the statement.

Hundreds of trials testing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as interventions for COVID-19 are still underway, including a US study created to show whether hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin can prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19. The EUA allowed both drugs to be prescribed in limited and controlled ways and be stockpiled for usage while studies of the drugs' effectiveness in treatment and prevention occurred.

Hydroxychloroquine first gained attention as a potential COVID-19 treatment in February, when two small studies suggested it might be useful against the virus.

"All I know is that we've had some tremendous reports", Trump said at a White House roundtable, according to The New York Times. Hydroxychloroquine is also approved to treat autoimmune conditions such as chronic discoid lupus erythematosus, systemic lupus erythematosus in adults, and rheumatoid arthritis.

It added that there is no data showing a reduction in mortality, length in hospital stay, or need for mechanical ventilation in COVID-19 patients treated with the drug.

Hydroxychloroquine was pushed aggressively by President Donald Trump, among others, who claimed it could be a miracle drug.

Trump also said that only U.S. agencies failed to grasp the benefits of the drug.

As yet, there is no FDA-approved treatment against Covid-19.

France, Italy and Belgium late last month halted use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients. Early on in the pandemic, some researchers thought the drugs might be useful in treating COVID-19.

The FDA's decision doesn't mean the drugs will be pulled from the market.

The FDA have also warned not to give HCQ to any COVID-19 parent receiving remdesivir, another drug touted as a potential treatment, and the only drug that has any authorisation for COVID-19 use.

But the FDA previously warned doctors that it had seen reports of unsafe side effects and heart problems reported to poison control centres and other health systems.

"I happen to be taking it", Trump said on May 18. Before that, "I thought I was going to die", Whitsett said.

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