NSW Health warns against self-medicating to treat COVID-19 after US death


NSW Health warns against self-medicating to treat COVID-19 after US death
NSW Health has issued a warning for people not to self-medicate to treat COVID-19.

In a statement, NSW Health warned the practice is dangerous, with one death already reported in the US from a man trying to self-medicate.

“NSW Health is aware of people self-medicating to treat COVID-19 or using medications in an attempt to prevent COVID-19 disease,” said the statement.

“There has already been one death reported overseas in someone who attempted to self-prescribe medicines. It’s dangerous to do this.

“At this time, there are no vaccines that protect against COVID-19 and no medications with approved indications to treat COVID-19.

“NSW Health is constantly reviewing evidence and working with clinicians to provide the most appropriate care for people affected by COVID-19.”

A man from Arizona has died and his wife is in critical care after the couple took chloroquine phosphate in an apparent attempt to self-medicate for the novel coronavirus.

It does not appear they took the pharmaceutical version of the drug, but rather “an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks”, hospital system Banner Health said in a statement.

The wife told NBC news they learned of chloroquine’s connection to COVID-19 after US President Donald Trump touted it as a possible treatment for the virus.

“I had [the substance] in the house because I used to have koi fish,” she told the network. “I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that the stuff they’re talking about on TV?'”

Trump has made clear that he thinks hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should be deployed quickly against the coronavirus. But the heads of the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have been hesitant.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are oral prescription drugs that have been used for treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions.

While their effectiveness against COVID-19 is being tested in clinical trials, so far the evidence that the drugs work is thin and only anecdotal.



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