The risks of hydroxychloroquine

June 10, 2020


The experimental use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has been widely publicized. But its safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed. 

Simply put, there isn’t enough evidence to support using it. Hydroxychloroquine is a potentially dangerous substance. Its side effects are both well-known and serious.

We follow the most up-to-date medical and scientific guidelines, as well as regulations set by federal agencies. Their recommendation is clear: Do not prescribe hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. The benefits are questionable. The risks have been proven.

Our priority is to make sure that our policies follow best clinical practices. We have considered the lack of evidence. We’ve also weighed the known possibility of serious side effects. For these reasons, we will not prescribe hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment. 

Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing. We will study new recommendations and clinical evidence as they become available. 

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  1. COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines. National Institutes of Health. Available at https://www. covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/. Accessed 06/09/2020.
  2. Interim Clinical Guideance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID019). Centers for Disease Control. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html. Accessed 06/09/2020.
  3. FDA Safety Alert. MedWatch. FDA cautions 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. Food and Drug Administration website. https:// www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-cautions-against-use-hydroxychloroquine- or-chloroquine-covid-19-outside-hospital-setting-or. Accessed April 27, 2020.
  4. Hydroxychloroquine. In UpToDate, Post TW (Ed), UpToDate Waltham, MA, 2020 .
  5. Magagnoli J, Narendran S, Pereira F, Cummings T, Hardin JW, et al. 2020. Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in the United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19. Medrxiv doi 10.1101/2020.04.16.20065920.