The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may trigger potentially fatal heart rhythm problems in COVID-19 patients and that they are too dangerous for general use.
FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Malaria drugs touted by President Donald Trump as potential "game changers" against COVID-19 are actually too dangerous for general use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Americans on Friday.
According to the FDA, studies have shown that the drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may trigger potentially fatal heart rhythm problems in COVID-19 patients.
The agency also said that it's aware of a rise in outpatient prescriptions for the two drugs, and said that health care providers and patients need to be aware of the risks associated with the drugs.
"Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19. They are being studied in clinical trials for COVID-19, and we authorized their temporary use during the COVID-19 pandemic for treatment of the virus in hospitalized patients when clinical trials are not available, or participation is not feasible," the FDA explained in a news release.