THE FDA has warned that the anti-malaria drug – that has previously been touted by President Donald Trump – can cause abnormalities in heart rhythm.
On Friday, the administration issued a warning against hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.
In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration advised: "The FDA is aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems in patients with COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, often in combination with azithromycin and other QT prolonging medicines.
"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 and chloroquine."
The document states: "Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19."
Detailing the complications that the drug can cause, the statement read: "Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can cause abnormal heart rhythms such as QT interval prolongation and a dangerously rapid heart rate called ventricular tachycardia.
"These risks may increase when these medicines are combined with other medicines known to prolong the QT interval, including the antibiotic azithromycin, which is also being used in some COVID-19 patients without FDA approval for this condition.
"Patients who also have other health issues such as heart and kidney disease are likely to be at increased risk of these heart problems when receiving these medicines."
During a press conference at the White House earlier this month, the president suggested that the drug could work on coronavirus patients.
"There are signs that it works on this [coronavirus]," Trump told reporters, citing "strong and powerful signs" it worked. "It’s been around a long time.
"I’m not acting as a doctor, I'm saying 'do what you want,' but there some good signs.""If it doesn’t work, nothing is lost by doing it," he added. "I want to save lives – I don’t wanna be in a lab for the next year-and-a-half.
"It can help them but it’s not going to hurt them."
However the F.D.A. has now debunked these claims.
The coronavirus has devastated the United States, having killed at least 50,243 Americans.
The country currently has a total of 886,709 confirmed cases.
However, 85,922 have recovered from the disease.
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