President Donald Trump is yet again making headlines for suggesting unproven drug advice as a treatment to coronavirus. Speaking in the press briefing, Trump admitted that he is taking hydroxychloroquine even after testing negative for the virus. The surprise admission from Trump startled the health experts who have been dealing with the President’s unproven scientific advice on multiple occasions since the start of February. The health experts cautioned the people of America that his advice would lead to serious heart issues and various other complications. Observational studies and treatment analysis of hydroxychloroquine has shown limited or no proven benefits for the patients. In some cases, it could be very harmful when taken with certain combinations. However, in-depth data from extensive studies are still awaited.
Public health experts expressed their worries over Trump’s continuous suggestions of the drug that has severe complications for patients. Hydroxychloroquine is recommended for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases only. With two cases confirmed in the White House, Trump told reporters that he is taking the drug along with the combination of several different medicines for about two weeks now, despite testing negative himself for the virus. Due to its harsh side effects, public health experts in the United States suggested not to prescribe the drug as a preventive measure to any patient. David Juurlink, head of clinical pharmacology at the University of Toronto, said - “Taking the drug is a crazy thing to do even after testing negative. It would be reasonable only if the drug had no side effects.” As per the physical exam records released by the White House in 2018, Trump has common heart disease with the rise of plaque in his blood vessels.
Even Trump’s doctor Sean Conley aligned himself with the President. “We had numerous discussions about the usage of hydroxychloroquine, and we concluded that the benefits were more when compared to the relative risks.” However, he didn’t specify the treatment regimen to be followed. Experts at FDA were worried about Trump’s statement as it would lead to a rise in the consumption of the drug which has been in the FDA’s shortage list since late March. The head of FDA’s drug office Janet Woodcock expressed concerns for the patients who actually need the drug and depend on them daily. He tweeted - “It’s a necessary drug for most of the patients with specific diseases and not having enough stocks would lead to terrible consequences.”
Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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