Thursday, April 9, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine not an approved treatment, says Bahamian health officials


By Sloan Smith

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – While the United States Federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate for the treatment of critical coronavirus patients, the drug is not an approved treatment in The Bahamas.

Hydroxycholoroquine is also used to prevent or treat malaria infections, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme Dr Nikkiah Forbes underscored yesterday that the drug, which has seen a surge in demand in recent days, has only seen theoretical benefits.

Forbes stressed there is not enough data to determine whether it can cause harm.

“We do not aim to cause the patient harm,” Forbes said.

The increase in demand follows comments from U.S. President Donald Trump championing the use of the drug in treatments for COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is among several drugs currently being tested in an international trial launched by the World Health Organization to find a treatment for the virus.

“We do not know if the drug would work,” Forbes said.  Read more >>