Home Coronavirus NIH Panel Recommends Against Drug Combination Promoted By Trump For COVID-19

NIH Panel Recommends Against Drug Combination Promoted By Trump For COVID-19

A panel of experts convened by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends against doctors using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 patients because of potential toxicities.

“The combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin was associated with QTc prolongation in patients with COVID-19,” the panel said.

QTc prolongation increases the risk of sudden cardiac death.

The recommendation against their combined use would seem to fly in the face of comments made by President Trump suggesting the combination might be helpful. On March 21, for example, the president described them in a tweet as having a “real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.”

He has repeatedly touted the use of the drugs during televised coronavirus task force briefings.

“I think it’s not a bad idea to do it, but that’s up to the doctors,” Trump said March 31 before adding the caveat, “It’s going to have to be proven. It’s very early.”

On April 5, though, without any more evidence of efficacy, he went further:

“What do you have to lose? And a lot of people are saying that when — and are taking it — if you’re a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, a medical person going into hospitals, they say taking it before the fact is good.  But what do you have to lose?  They say, ‘Take it.’ I’m not looking at it one way or the other, but we want to get out of this.  If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early. But we have some very good signs. So that’s hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.”


NPRexcerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, April 22, 2020