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Is Hydroxychloroquine a Suitable Treatment for COVID-19? Not Yet, According to CDC.

In recent news from various media outlets, it has been reported that certain drug therapies have shown effectiveness in treating patients suffering from COVID-19. One of the more publicized of these therapies is an anti-malarial drug called hydroxychloroquine or Plaquenil, which is also known for its use in treatment of auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

While hydroxychloroquine has shown promising outcomes in treating COVID-19 in patients either alone or in combination with the antibiotic Azithromycin, it has been used only in uncontrolled settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly states that data on the effectiveness of this drug as a treatment for COVID-19 are limited and anecdotal at best. While clinical studies are being developed to further investigate this drug therapy and others, there are still no data to conclusively show their effectiveness.

From CDC’s Information for Clinicians on Therapeutic Options for COVID-19 Patients:

“Hydroxychloroquine is currently under investigation in clinical trials for pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and treatment of patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19. In the United States, several clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection are planned or will be enrolling soon. …There are no currently available data from Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) to inform clinical guidance on the use, dosing, or duration of hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.”