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WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine trial over safety concerns

WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine trial over safety concerns

The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine trial over safety concerns

The World Health Organization said that it has suspended its trial of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns.

Hydroxychloroquine has been touted by U.S. President Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Trump said he was taking the drug to ward off the virus.

“Yeah, I’m taking it.”

The WHO has previously recommended against using hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus infections, except as part of clinical trials.

The decision to pause the trial was done out of an abundance of caution while safety data is reviewed.

The WHO said that other arms of the so-called ‘Solidarity trial’ – a major international initiative to hold clinical tests of potential treatments for the virus – were continuing.

What is hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine is a medicine that can be used to prevent malaria. It is also used to treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

According to Australia’s Therapeutic Drugs Administration, the most severe side effects can include cardiac toxicity potentially leading to sudden heart attacks, irreversible eye damage and severe depletion of blood sugar potentially leading to coma.

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