Donald Trump says he takes hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection
"Cause I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”
US President Donald Trump has said that he has been regularly taking the the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection.
This comes despite an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning last month that the unproven drug should only be taken in hospitals because of the risk of heart complications.
“I happen to be taking it,” Trump said during a roundtable event at the White House. “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.”
He added: “I’m taking it, hydroxychlororquine. Right now, yeah. Couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Cause I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”
Trump said he’s gotten “a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy, and I say hey — you know the expression I’ve used, John? What do you have to lose?”
He has touted the drug in the past but studies have not shown it is an effective treatment yet, with much of the evidence the drug is an effective treatment being anecdotal.
“While clinical trials are ongoing to determine the safety and effectiveness of these drugs for Covid-19, there are known side effects of these medications that should be considered," FDA commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in the statement.
“The FDA will continue to monitor and investigate these potential risks and will communicate publicly when more information is available.”
Hydroxychloroquine is FDA-approved to treat or prevent malaria as well as autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The surge in demand for it due to the coronavirus has impacted stocks of the drug with some of its regular users saying it has become more difficult to get.