The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Committee advised against combining hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug, with azithromycin, an antibiotic also known as “Z-Pak”, outside of clinical trials.
The panel said there was insufficient clinical data to recommend either for or against the use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.
If hydroxychloroquine is used, clinicians should monitor patients for side effects, the panel said, particularly heart problems.
Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin have been promoted as a potential treatment for COVID-19 by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden Says He Raised M In March Rosie O’Donnell Predicts Trump “Loses By Landslide” In November Treasury Department To Release $ 9.9 Billion In Payroll Aid For Airlines PLUS, Resulting in a shortage of both drugs.
Drugs, “taken together, have a real chance of being one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” Trump tweeted last month.
A small analysis of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Veterans Health Administration medical centers found that those who took hydroxychloroquine were more likely to die or required mechanical ventilation.
The study, which was not peer reviewed, only analyzed 368 patients but represented the greatest look at the results of COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine – with or without azithromycin, a common antibiotic – worldwide.