Whether Coronavirus patients should or should not be given the highly popular anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine has been a topic of debate among researchers around the world.
But the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has revised its Coronavirus treatment guidelines on Friday, August 21, tightening its stance against the use of HCQ, a drug that was highly promoted by the U.S. President Donald Trump, as a way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The medical association, which previously called for limited use of HCQ in trials, now recommends not to use the drug either by itself or along with the antibiotic azithromycin for patients diagnosed with the coronavirus, even in the hospitals.
Hydroxychloroquine Is a Risk
IDSA said the expert guidelines panel concluded, "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."
In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the emergency use authorization for Chloroquine and HCQ and said the drugs are "unlikely to be effective" in treating the Coronavirus.
In its website, the agency while mentioning that the FDA revoked the EUA wrote, "Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19 when a clinical trial was unavailable, or participation in a clinical trial was not feasible."
On Saturday, August 22, Trump shared the news about FDA a decision on the use of these drugs and wrote, "Many doctors and studies disagree with this!". Earlier, he had tweeted, "HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains - Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)."
But a National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel warned against using HCQ with azithromycin for COVID-19 patients. The panel said the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin was associated with QTc prolongation that increases the risk of sudden cardiac death in Coronavirus patients.
The IDSA website read, "Among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the IDSA guideline panel recommends against hydroxychloroquine. (Strong recommendation, moderate certainty of the evidence) and hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin. (Strong recommendation, low certainty of the evidence)."