President Donald Trump, 73, announced on Monday that he’s been taking a single dose of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine daily and has been doing so for a week-and-a-half as a prophylactic.
“I happen to be taking it,” Trump said during a roundtable event. “A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.”
The president said “what do I have to lose?” And he backed up his statement by saying he’s received lots of good feedback about the drug and it’s effects on the deadly coronavirus.
He said the lupus drug which is an anti-inflammatory was not recommended by the White House doctor but he asked if he could take it and the doctor said yes.
The president says he is continually tested for COVID-19 and he is negative. He says he has no symptoms and he feels great.
The FDA issued a warning last month that the unproven drug should only be taken in hospitals because of the risk of heart complications. There’s no substantiated evidence that taking hydroxychloroquine prevents COVID-19 infections.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are FDA-approved to treat or prevent malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is also FDA-approved to treat autoimmune conditions such as chronic discoid lupus erythematosus, systemic lupus erythematosus in adults, and rheumatoid arthritis. The drug has been in use around the world for over 60 years.
FDA recommends initial evaluation and monitoring when using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine under the EUA or in clinical trials to treat or prevent COVID-19. Monitoring may include baseline ECG, electrolytes, renal function and hepatic tests.
Be aware that hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine can:
~cause QT prolongation
~increase the risk of QT prolongation in patients with renal insufficiency or failure
~increase insulin levels and insulin action causing increased risk of severe hypoglycemia
~cause hemolysis in patients with Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
~interact with other medicines that cause QT prolongation even after discontinuing the Last medicines due to their long half-lives of approximately 30-60 days