The U.S. on Monday announced an end to its use of chloroquine for the treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said its emergency use authorisation for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drugs backed by President Donald Trump to combat COVID-19 has been stopped.
The agency determined the drugs were “unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA.”
“Additionally, in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of CQ and HCQ no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorised use,” the FDA wrote in its notice Monday.
The FDA in had warned consumers in April against taking the drugs to treat Covid-19 outside a hospital or formal clinical trial setting due to the risk of “serious heart rhythm problems” in some patients.
Trump disclosed last month that he was taking hydroxychloroquine daily to prevent infection from the coronavirus.
In addition to treating malaria, hydroxychloroquine is often used by doctors to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It is known to have serious side effects, including muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia. Numerous clinical trials are looking to see if it’s effective in fighting Covid-19, but it is not a proven treatment.
There are no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of Covid-19, which has infected more than 7.9 million people worldwide and killed at least 434,060, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.