So, just in cased anyone hasn’t informed you HCQ is NOT a prophylactic against COVID-19. If you need “evidence”, please read the Hydroxychloroquine label from the FDA (link below):
Hydroxychloroquine is approved for three main indications: Malaria, Lupus Erythematosus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. What does this mean? This means that clinical trials have been conducted to demonstrate that there is potential therapeutic benefits for individuals diagnosed with Malaria, Lupus Erythematosus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Now, as with all drugs, there are potential adverse effects that accompany its consumption. Once again, these adverse events are ones that were observed in long-term clinical trials. Here are some of the potential issues you can face by ingesting this drug:
- Resistant strains of malaria: PLAQUENIL is not effective against chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY – Microbiology).
- Ocular: Irreversible retinal damage has been observed in some patients who had received hydroxychloroquine sulfate. Significant risk factors for retinal damage include daily doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate greater than 6.5 mg/kg (5 mg/kg base) of actual body weight, durations of use greater than five years, subnormal glomerular filtration, use of some concomitant drug products such as tamoxifen citrate and concurrent macular disease. Reference ID: 4047416 A baseline ocular examination is recommended within the first year of starting PLAQUENIL. The baseline exam should include: best corrected distance visual acuity (BCVA), an automated threshold visual field (VF) of the central 10 degrees (with retesting if an abnormality is noted), and spectral domain ocular coherence tomography (SD-OCT). For individuals with significant risk factors (daily dose of hydroxychloroquine sulfate greater than 5.0 mg/kg base of actual body weight, subnormal glomerular filtration, use of tamoxifen citrate or concurrent macular disease) monitoring should include annual examinations which include BCVA, VF and SD-OCT. For individuals without significant risk factors, annual exams can usually be deferred until five years of treatment. In individuals of Asian descent, retinal toxicity may first be noticed outside the macula. In patients of Asian descent, it is recommended that visual field testing be performed in the central 24 degrees instead of the central 10 degrees. It is recommended that hydroxychloroquine be discontinued if ocular toxicity is suspected and the patient should be closely observed given that retinal changes (and visual disturbances) may progress even after cessation of therapy.
- Cardiac Effects, including Cardiomyopathy and QT prolongation: Postmarketing cases of life-threatening and fatal cardiomyopathy have been reported with use of PLAQUENIL as well as with use of chloroquine. Patients may present with atrioventricular block, pulmonary hypertension, sick sinus syndrome or with cardiac complications. ECG findings may include atrioventricular, right or left bundle branch block. Signs or symptoms of cardiac compromise have appeared during acute and chronic treatment. Clinical monitoring for signs and symptoms of cardiomyopathy is advised, including use of appropriate diagnostic tools such as ECG to monitor patients for cardiomyopathy during PLAQUENIL therapy. Chronic toxicity should be considered when conduction disorders (bundle branch block/atrio-ventricular heart block) or biventricular hypertrophy are diagnosed. If cardiotoxicity is suspected, prompt discontinuation of PLAQUENIL may prevent life-threatening complications. PLAQUENIL prolongs the QT interval. Ventricular arrhythmias and torsades de pointes have been reported in patients taking PLAQUENIL (see OVERDOSAGE). Therefore, PLAQUENIL should not be administered with other drugs that have the potential to prolong the QT interval (see DRUG INTERACTIONS).
- Worsening of psoriasis and porphyria: Use of PLAQUENIL in patients with psoriasis may precipitate a severe attack of psoriasis. When used in patients with porphyria the condition may be exacerbated. The preparation should not be used in these conditions unless in the judgment of the physician the benefit to the patient outweighs the possible hazard.
- Proximal Myopathy and Neuropathy: Skeletal muscle myopathy or neuropathy leading to progressive weakness and atrophy of proximal muscle groups, depressed tendon reflexes, and abnormal nerve conduction, have been reported. Muscle and nerve biopsies have been associated with curvilinear bodies and muscle fiber atrophy with vacuolar changes. Assess muscle strength and deep tendon reflexes periodically in patients on long-term therapy with Reference ID: 4047416 PLAQUENIL.
- Neuropsychiatric events, including suicidality: Suicidal behavior has been rarely reported in patients treated with PLAQUENIL.
- Hypoglycemia: PLAQUENIL has been shown to cause severe hypoglycemia including loss of consciousness that could be life threatening in patients treated with or without antidiabetic medications (see DRUG INTERACTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS). Patients treated with PLAQUENIL should be warned about the risk of hypoglycemia and the associated clinical signs and symptoms. Patients presenting with clinical symptoms suggestive of hypoglycemia during treatment with PLAQUENIL should have their blood glucose checked and treatment reviewed as necessary.
There are also various considerations to be taken prior to a patient taking HCQ for any indication (whether an approved indication or for potential “emergency use”) such a co-morbidities (referring to other potential diagnosis a patient may have, ie. diabetes, hypertension) and concomitant medication (other medications a patient may be taking). Long story-short, the FDA hasn’t approved the use of HCQ for anything other than Malaria, Lupus Erythematosus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. In order for the drug to be approved for other uses, we need more long-term safety data, given the current safety profile we have for the drug.
Lastly, while I don’t relate to this song lyrically, I’m a fan of this – the urban version.