Yale New Haven Health System stopped recommending the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus therapy this week.
Dr. Thomas Balcezak, chief medical officer of Yale Health, says some hospitalized COVID-19 patients received the drug as a trial under close supervision, but they hadn’t shown improvement.
“Side effects are rare, and we have been monitoring patients to see if they have those side effects, but on balance, our guideline development team felt that given the lack of benefits and the potential side effects, we should remove it from possible therapy.”
Balcezak says trial tests have finished, and the hospital is not recommending people use hydroxychloroquine as outpatients, given rare but serious heart side effects. He says the drug has not been shown to prevent virus transmission – yet.
“We don’t believe that there is benefit for inpatients in using hydroxycholoroquine, and we just don’t know until these trials are completed about its use to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.”
The news comes as President Donald Trump announced he had been taking the drug to fight potential coronavirus transmission.
Yale's COVID-19 Adult Treatment Algorithm can be found here.
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