What do you have to lose taking hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus? Potentially your life.
OPINIONDr. Raymond L. Woosley, Opinion contributor Published 12:01 a.m. ET April 10, 2020 | Updated 1:38 p.m. ET April 10, 2020CLOSE Dr. Raymond Woosley says anti-malarial drugs like chloroquine can cause subtle heart changes and increase a person’s risk of developing arrhythmia. USA TODAYThe drug doesn’t come without a certain set of risks, and no one knows if it can effectively treat COVID-19.The president and some of his close advisors — desperate for a COVID-19 cure — are asking “What do you have to lose?” by taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a strong medication never adequately tested for efficacy or safety in COVID-19 patients. The correct answer to the president’s question, which he doesn’t seem to want to hear, is that we have our lives to lose.The president acknowledges “I’m not a doctor” but this raises the question “What do doctors know about the drug recommended by the president?” Most doctors are aware that HCQ can be effective for patients with malaria, arthritis or lupus. If they were to follow the president’s suggestion and prescribe it for COVID-19 patients, they would also like to know that it will benefit some of those patients, at least.This drug hasn’t proven to be successful in treating viral illnessesWhat