Infectious Disease Society says hydroxychloroquine should not be used to treat coronavirus patients

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The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) on Friday revised its coronavirus treatment guidelines, recommending that the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine not be used for COVID-19 patients. 

The IDSA initially only recommended against the use of the drug in conjunction with the antibiotic azithromycin. The updated guideline marking a tougher stance on the drug praised by President Trump.

“IDSA’s expert guidelines panel concluded that higher certainty benefits (e.g., mortality reduction) for the use of these treatments are now highly unlikely even if additional high quality data would become available,” the group said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg News.

The ISDA says it based its recommendations on trials of the drug. One study cited by the ISDA found COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine who were not on a ventilators “were more likely to be placed on a mechanical ventilation during follow up.”

Trump took the medication to prevent contracting COVID-19 earlier this year, and has repeatedly praised the drug as a treatment for the virus. 

Demand for hydroxychloroquine soared after Trump began promoting it, leading to shortages. The drug isn’t approved to treat COVID-19, but it is used to treat lupus, arthritis and malaria. Doctors have warned, however, that the drug can cause serious heart problems.

U.S. health officials initially made allowances for the drugs to be used as a potential treatment, but follow up studies prompted reversals from the Food and Drug Administration as well as the National Institutes of Health.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Drug Pandemic

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