Do NOT take Trump’s touted hydroxychloroquine – ‘it won’t prevent Covid and could kill you’, warns doctor – The Sun
DONALD Trump stunned people across the globe yesterday – by revealing he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine to stave off Covid-19.
The US president said he'd been taking the anti-malaria drug for a "couple of weeks" – even though there’s no scientific evidence that it treats coronavirus, much less prevents it.
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And doctors across the globe are now urging people not to take hydroxychloroquine – as it could be deadly.
It comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US issued a warning against the drug after it was revealed it causes an increased risk of heart problems.
In particular, top doctor Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patientaccess.com, has warned that taking hydroxychloroquine could be "disastrous".
She told The Sun Online: "About the only thing you can rely on with Donald Trump is that you can’t rely on anything he says, at least as far as coronavirus is concerned.
"Hydroxychloroquine has never even been formally tested for prevention of coronavirus.
"It has been used to treat small numbers of patients, but the results have been very conflicting.
"None of them showed significant improvements in survival and the most recent studies have shown no benefits but more side effects.
"Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat people with a condition called lupus.
"It is very effective for this, but patients have to have regular monitoring of their eyes and it can cause blood side effects.
"Importantly, coronavirus can cause serious heart complications, and so can hydroxychloroquine – the combination could be disastrous.
Hydroxychloroquine is absolutely not a ‘miracle cure’ for coronavirus and should never be used to prevent it
"The scientific message is clear – hydroxychloroquine is absolutely not a ‘miracle cure’ for coronavirus and should never be used to prevent it."
Dr Daniel Atkinson, clinical lead at Treated.com, also told The Sun Online that hydroxychloroquine can cause a person's blood sugar to drop to dangerous levels – and exacerbate eye problems.
He said: "It’s a drug with a higher risk profile for side effects than other similar drugs, because it can cause and exacerbate eye problems and it can also cause hypoglycaemia.
"Low blood sugar can be dangerous and affect our ability to drive and use machinery.
"People who take hydroxychloriquine should have regular blood tests to check for changes in blood cells.
"There’s not enough evidence yet to suggest that it’s even effective at preventing coronavirus. So it’s possible that people taking it for this purpose might be risking eye problems without any real benefit."
Hydroxychloroquine side effects
The more common side effects that can occur with hydroxychloroquine include:
- Stomach cramps
Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- Blurred vision or other vision changes, which may be permanent in some cases
- Heart disease, including heart failure and issues with your heart rhythm; some cases have been fatal
- Ringing in your ears or hearing loss
- Angioedema (rapid swelling of your skin)
- Severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Blue-black skin colour
- Muscle weakness
- Hair loss or changes in hair colour
- Abnormal mood changes
- Mental health effects, including suicidal thoughts
Dr Hilary Jones also warned that there are a number of troubling consequences of using hydroxychloroquine.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain earlier today, he said: "It can cause heart failure, it can cause heart irregularities in Covid-19 patients.
"It's very toxic to the liver and therefore there are no benefits that have been shown in clinical trials, although clinical trials are being conducted in this country – and actually it could be dangerous."
Trump appeared to brush off these concerns when he revealed he took it, along with zinc, last night.
"I started taking it, because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories," said the President.
I started taking it, because I think it’s good
"Frontline workers take it, a lot of doctors take it, I take it.
"I'm not going to get hurt by it, it's been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus. I'm taking the two – the zinc and the hydroxyl. So far I seem to be okay.
"I hope to be able to not take it soon because I hope they come up with some answer but I think people should be allowed to [take it]. I take a pill every day. At some point I'll stop.”
The president revealed that White House doctor Sean Conley had prescribed it for him after he inquired about the potential treatment, also used to treat lupus and arthritis.
Dr Conley said him and the President had discussed the potential benefits and dangers of taking the drug.
Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, University of Leeds, has slammed Trump for his admission.
He said: "The announcement from President Trump that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against infection with Sars-CoV2 is a staggering, irresponsible act that could very well also amount to self-harm."
And Dr Ayfer Ali, Assistant Professor of Strategy at Warwick Business School and an expert in drug repurposing, added: "To promote such drugs for prophylactic use among healthy individuals without appropriate clinical evidence is irresponsible.
"This not only exposes millions of people to dangerous side effects, but also risks exhausting the supplies of such drugs for people who need them for proven uses."
Fox News host Neil Cavuto also warned his audience that the drug can lead to fatal consequences for some people.
Cavuto cautioned viewers: "It will kill you. I cannot stress enough."
He added: "This is a leap that should not be taken casually by those watching at home, or assuming, well the president of the United States says it's OK…I only make this not to make a political point here, but a life-and-death point. Be very, very careful."
Mounting evidence shows this anti-malaria drug isn't effective in fighting coronavirus.
Recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine both concluded that hydroxychloroquine can't treat Covid-19.
It will kill you. I cannot stress enough
Trump had previously stopped Dr Anthony Fauci from discussing the medication during an April press briefing after the US brought 29 million doses of it.
The top doc was reportedly concerned that the drug had not been proven to work — which Trump acknowledged "might be correct, it might be false."
Recent studies carried out in New York, France and China have also found not benefit from hydroxychloroquine when it comes to tackling coronavirus.
In April, the National Institutes of Health launched a study testing hydroxychloroquine versus a placebo drug in 500 hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
Last week, NIH announced another study to see if hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin can prevent hospitalization or death in people with mild to moderate illness.
About 2,000 US adults with confirmed coronavirus infections and symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath will get the drugs or placebo pills.
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