A National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel is warning against the use of hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin to treat COVID-19 patients.
The NIH — developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) agency headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci — has released a recommendation confirming that the coronavirus cocktail is currently under investigation.
The panel is recommending health professionals not use the drug combination — hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin — because of a “potential for toxicities.”
The recommendation reads:
“Except in the context of a clinical trial, the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel (the Panel) recommends against the use of the following drugs for the treatment of COVID-19,” including, “The combination of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin (AIII) because of the potential for toxicities.”
“The combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin was associated with QTc prolongation in patients with COVID-19.”
#NIH issued treatment guidelines for #COVID19. The Guidelines, developed by an expert US panel, are intended to help healthcare providers on the frontlines fighting COVID-19. Posted online, they will be updated often as new data & information emerges. https://t.co/CrLz1x2LXs pic.twitter.com/Y5ACYYsw7s— NIH (@NIH) April 21, 2020
The latest guidelines follow a string of reports about Trump’s support of the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus — the drug is only FDA-approved to treat malaria.
The president previously described the drug as “great” and “powerful” and claimed there were “signs that it works.” In fact, CNN noted that the president considered the drug to be a “game-changer.” However, there was never any factual information to support that theory.
When Fauci was asked about the president’s praise of the drug, he clarified that “there’s no magic drug” to combat coronavirus.
He also noted that despite the unproven nature of the drug, it would likely be made “more readily available” if it offered even the slightest improvement for suffering coronavirus patients.
At the time, Fauci said, “There are no proven, safe, and effective therapies for the coronavirus. That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to do everything we can to make things that have even a hint of efficacy more readily available.”
Check out Fauci’s remarks:
As of Tuesday morning, there are more than 826,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States.