Researchers are preparing hydroxychloroquine for Australian health professionals to protect them from viruses
Australian health professionals set to test controversial coronavirus medication, while Donald Trump reveals he also uses drug despite warnings that it has deadly side effects
- Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne will conduct a drug trial
- For four months, 2,250 health workers take a placebo or the drug
- Study aims to test how effective hydroxychloroquine is in preventing COVID-19
- There are concerns that the drug could cause potentially fatal side effects
- Donald Trump said he took it Monday despite warnings from health officials
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Researchers are preparing to test hydroxychloroquine on Australian health professionals to protect them from coronavirus, as Donald Trump has revealed that he also uses the drug.
Hydroxychloroquine, a drug commonly prescribed to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, has been touted as a possible prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
But there are also warnings that it can be dangerous after reports of COVID-19 patients using it as treatment developed serious heart rhythm problems and fast heart rates that can be fatal.
Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne will conduct a four-month trial called COVID SHIELD with approximately 2,250 hospital and health workers from across the country.
Australian researchers are conducting a survey of 2,225 health professionals from across the country to see if hydroxychloroquine effectively prevents COVID-19 contraction. Depicted is a medical worker performing a coronavirus test in Bondi on May 15
During the course of the experiment, half of the workers receive hydroxychloroquine and the other half receive a placebo.
Some overseas studies have shown that the antimalarial drug can prevent COVID-19 from entering cells in laboratory conditions, while others have raised doubts about the ability to treat patients if they are already infected.
The Australian study aims to test how effective it is in preventing someone from contracting the disease.
US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he has used the drug despite his own government’s warning that it should only be administered for COVID-19 in a hospital or research setting.
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of the drug’s side effects and that it “ has not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19. ”
Rheumatologist Ian Wicks of Royal Melbourne Hospital, one of the researchers who led the Australian trial, said the drug’s side effects were unusual.
US President Donald Trump (pictured) boasted Tuesday that he had been taking hydroxycholoroquine for over a week after hearing that COVID-19 had been successfully prevented in one study
Hydroxychloroquine (pictured) is a drug, usually taken as a tablet, that is often prescribed to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus
“Rheumatologists are very comfortable with the safety profile of the drug,” said Professor Wicks ABC news.
‘The medical specialists who perform COVID SHIELD have a lot of experience with the use of hydroxychloroquine in the clinic. All participants are screened based on strict selection criteria and monitored closely during the trial to ensure safety. ‘
A day after Donald Trump made the disclosure, the FDA softened its stance on the drug, saying the decision to take the prescription drug is between a patient and their doctor.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said, “It’s not something our own medical experts recommend.”