Health experts are on alert and warning the public against using hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus after President Trump announced he was taking the drug. The drug is an antimalarial drug the Food and Drug Administration said could cause heart problems for coronavirus patients.

President Trump said he was taking the drug for preventative reasons and had still tested negative for the virus. Experts warned against the health effects for the President and the dangers of people that follow his lead and take the drug. Trump called hydroxychloroquine a “game changer” in March and caused a scarcity of the drug. Hydroxychloroquine is used by those that suffer from lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

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Dr. Steven E. Nissen, the chief academic officer of the Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic told the New York Times, “My concern would be that the public not hear comments about the use of hydroxychloroquine and believe that taking this drug to prevent Covid-19 infection is without hazards. In fact, there are serious hazards.”

After Trump’s March announcement, the FDA put out a safety warning on the drug. In the statement, the agency said, “FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems,” and “The FDA is aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems in patients with COVID-19 treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, often in combination with azithromycin and other QT prolonging medicines. We are also aware of the increased use of these medicines through outpatient prescriptions. Therefore, we would like to remind health care professionals and patients of the known risks associated with both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.”

If you have tested positive for coronavirus, talk to your doctor about treatment options, and avoid taking any drugs without speaking to a medical professional.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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