The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken down its guidance for the use of a drug that President Trump has frequently touted as a treatment for coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine.
The CDC’s online advice on taking the drug was updated on April 7th, just a few days after it was reported by Reuter that the CDC was offering a strange form of guidance by offering unattributed anecdotes, rather than peer-reviewed science.
The update simply says: “… hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are under investigation in clinical trials” and “there are no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID-19.”
The CDC originally told Reuter that the original guidance was made for doctors at the request of a White House coronavirus task force.
Hydroxychloroquine, which serves as an anti-malrial drug, has been touted by the president, frequently, as a possible treatment for coronavirus, saying “there are some very strong, powerful signs” for its effectiveness.
But there has been a good amount of questioning of the drug’s effectiveness, and has divided many of Trump’s advisors.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has expressed a lot of skepticism of the drug, saying there just isn’t enough evidence to show that the drug works.
“There have been cases that show there may be an effect, and there are others to show there’s no effect,” Fauci discussed while appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, “So, I think in terms of science, I don’t think we could definitively say it works.”
According to the CDC, hydroxychloroquine is an arthritis medicine that can be used as a prevention or treatment of malaria and is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. It is available by prescription only.
The most recent study for the drug came from China, and helped show that the drug helped speed the recovery of patients experiencing mild to moderate symptoms. The study does note that the evidence is limited, however. Cough, ever and pneumonia were shown to go away faster and that patients’ illnesses were less likely to become severe.
It looks like the CDC is doing the right thing here by not promoting a drug that has not been proven to be effective, or healthy. While the drug could help, further research will be needed to see.
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