Fact Check: Do Frontline Workers Take Hydroxychloroquine to Prevent Coronavirus?


The president, who constantly tested negative for the coronavirus, appeared to suggest that he was taking the drug as a means of preventing infection, which he said front-line health workers were also doing.

“You look at the doctors and the nurses. Many of them see it as preventative, “said Trump.

The facts first: In the United States, several studies are underway to see whether hydroxychloroquine is effective in preventing frontline medical workers from being infected with the virus. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against coronavirus, and it is not authorized as a treatment for coronavirus outside of hospitals. In fact, the FDA has warned against using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for Covid-19 outside of the hospital or clinical trial due to the risk of heart rhythm problems.

Current studies

In early April, Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System launched the first large-scale study in the United States on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in preventing or preventing Covid-19 in frontline workers. The 3,000 healthcare workers and first responders from southeast Michigan who were selected for the study each received unmarked vials containing either a daily dose of hydroxychloroquine, a weekly dose or a placebo.

After eight weeks, the three groups will be compared to see if the drug has had an effect. Preliminary results are expected probably in August.

The Duke Clinical Research Institute is conducting a study to determine, in part, whether hydroxychloroquine can successfully prevent coronavirus infections in healthcare workers at high risk of infection.

The second part of the study is a randomized clinical trial that started last month and is currently examining nearly 600 healthcare workers with 25 to 40 added every day. Participants are randomly assigned to two groups, one taking hydroxychloroquine and the other taking a placebo to “examine whether hydroxychloroquine is effective in reducing the rate of Covid-19 infection”, according to a press release. university press.

Dr. Adrian Hernandez, a Duke professor of medicine in cardiology who launched the program to study healthcare workers, told CNN that the trial is scheduled to end this summer but may continue in the fall.

Asked about the president’s comments, Hernandez said that before the trials “there were probably healthcare workers before taking hydroxychloroquine.” However, Hernandez cautions against people who are not in these clinical trials taking the drug as a preventative against the coronavirus. He recommended “that people participate in clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine, rather than taking it individually.” “

Hernandez added that taking the drug outside of a clinical trial to prevent coronavirus infection “like the president, is probably not the answer.”


In March, the FDA granted emergency authorization to doctors to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a similar drug, in hospitals for a limited set of cases of Covid-19. Under the Emergency Use Clearance, the FDA has authorized the use of the drug as a potential treatment “only in patients hospitalized with careful cardiac monitoring”.

Since then, several studies have tested the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus. In mid-April, a French study determined that the drugs did not help hospital patients against coronavirus, and a study in veteran American hospitals found that coronavirus patients taking hydroxychloroquine were all also likely to need mechanical ventilation and had higher death rates compared to those who did not take the drug.

In late April, the FDA also warned against using hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 “outside of the hospital setting or clinical trial because of the risk of heart rhythm problems.”

The most recent FDA guidelines have concluded that hydroxychloroquine “has not been shown to be safe and effective for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19”.

Although Trump is not eligible for the drug under the FDA’s emergency use clearance, the president’s doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley said he “had concluded that the potential benefits of the treatment outweigh the relative risks,” according to a memo released Monday evening.


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