Health

Trump says he will finish hydroxychloroquine regimen in 'about 2 days'

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Trump says considering travel ban on Brazil over coronavirus

"A lot of them are taking it as a preventative", Trump said. "I happen to be taking it".

Weeks ago, Mr Trump had promoted the drug as a potential treatment based on a positive report about its use against the virus, but subsequent studies found it was not helpful.

US President Donald Trump was criticised this week after he said he had been taking hydroxychloroquine, despite warnings it might be unsafe.

In fact, the FDA cautioned against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for Covid-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.

Llewelyn added, "If drugs as well-tolerated as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could reduce the chances of catching COVID-19, this would be incredibly valuable".

However the RACGP highlighted that as it stands, the evidence is not sufficient to use the medicine in this manner.

In theory, repurposing existing drugs to treat coronavirus is a very good and sound idea (unlike Mr Trump's previous ones about injecting disinfectant or hitting the body with "tremendous" UV light).

Although many countries have begun to bend the curve of new COVID-19 cases per day downwards, the possibility of a second wave of cases can not be excluded, and developing additional tools to protect frontline healthcare workers from contracting COVID-19 remains very important for the United Kingdom, as well as for many other countries in the world.

He noted the FDA had approved "off-label use" of the drug when prescribed by a physician.

People should not infer from Trump's example "that it's an approved approach or proven", because it's not, said Dr David Aronoff, infectious diseases chief at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Hydroxychloroquine is a widely used antimalarial drug that the president has touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

"I'm like, "How can I be sick? How?"

"It's got a bad reputation only because I'm promoting it", Trump told reporters of the medication. But as with any drug and as with any prescription, it should be given by a doctor to a patient in that context.

Mr Trump's most powerful elected antagonist, the Democratic Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, could not resist taking a dig at his age and weight when asked on CNN about him taking the malaria medication.

Media captionWhat's it like to fast for Ramadan as a healthcare worker during the pandemic?

On Monday night, Chris Cuomo questioned whether Trump truly was taking hydroxychloroquine, saying he believed it was "a lovely distraction" that "speaks to optimism" about reopening the country.

'We really do not know if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are beneficial or harmful against COVID-19. "He just likes to make a splash", he told MSNBC.

While the University of Oxford trial is taking place in a controlled clinical environment, the World Health Organization has warned that some individuals were self-medicating and risked causing themselves serious harm.

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