© Michael Chow/The Republic
Monday President Trump told reporters that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine and a zinc supplement for over a week now.
The drug, repeatedly touted by the President, is normally used to treat autoimmune conditions such as malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Trump said that the White Hosue doctor prescribed him the drug after he asked to be put on it.
“I asked [the White House doctor], what do you think? He said if you’d like it. I said yeah, I’d like it. A lot of front-line workers are taking hydroxychloroquine,” said Trump.
However, the FDA has issued a warning against using the drug outside of medial purview and outside of it’s intended uses.
“Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19,” the FDA said in a statement. “The Emergency Use Authorization was based upon limited evidence that the medicines may provide benefit, and for this reason, we authorized their use only in hospitalized patients under careful heart monitoring.”
Despite the warning, issued over three weeks ago, the President has been taking a daily dosage of the drug for “about a week and a half” as a preventive measure for COVID-19.
The Food and Drug Administration has shown the drug not to be an effective or safe therapeutic against the virus. Furthermore, the drug is linked to serious heart complications especially when used in conjunction with other heart medicines. The agency made it’s statement after the drug had become more widely available and reports of usage outside of hospitals and other medical facilities was reported.
“The FDA is aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems in patients with COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine,” the FDA said in a statement. “We are also aware of increased use of these medicines through outpatient prescriptions. Therefore, we would like to remind health care professionals and patients of the known risks associated with both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.”
The FDA is continuing to study the risks of hydroxychloroquine and other therapeutics as they search for a cure for the COVID-19. There are no proven treatments and no vaccine to date.