Donald Trump reveals he’s taking anti malarial drug to ward of COVID-19 – Wales CMO says don’t!
Wales Chief Medical Officer has said people should ‘definitely not’ take hydroxychloroquine as a way of warding off COVID-19.
US President Donald Trump said yesterday he is taking the anti malaria drug despite it being unproven in the fight against coronavirus.
The 73-year-old president was hosting a meeting at the White House for the restaurant industry on Monday when he revealed he was taking hydroxychloroquine.
Trump told reporters he’s been taking the drug – which is also prescribed to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus – for “a couple weeks.”
He said, “I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories and if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right, you’re not going to get hurt by it.”
“It’s been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus for other things, I take it.”
In a memo published after Trump’s comments, his physician Sean Conley said, after “numerous discussions” with the president “for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks”.
There is no evidence hydroxychloroquine can fight off coronavirus, though some clinical trials are under way for people with severe COVID-19 infections.
Wales Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton was asked this morning what the guidance is here with regards to hydroxychloroquine, he told BBC Radio Wales:
“There’s very little evidence that it does any good as a prophylactic (to prevent disease).
There are some clinical trials going on around hydroxychloroquine, it’s certainly not a prophylactic
I wouldn’t advise anybody to take it against medical advice and it does of course have side effects in terms of cardiac problems.
So really, it’s not something that people should be taking as a precaution, definitely not.”
The US Food and Drug Administration said last month it was aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems in patients with COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine.
“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.
Hydroxychloroquine can cause abnormal heart rhythms and a dangerously rapid heart rate.
We will continue to investigate risks associated with the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19.”
Last month the president was heavily criticised by the medical community after suggesting coronavirus might be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.
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