Hydroxychloroquine Shouldn’t Be Used as Covid Preventive, Says WHO
A bottle of Prasco Laboratories Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate is arranged for a photograph. (Photographer: Christopher Occhicone/Bloomberg)

Hydroxychloroquine Shouldn’t Be Used as Covid Preventive, Says WHO

Anti-inflammatory drug hydroxychloroquine should not be used in efforts to prevent infection with Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization.

A WHO expert panel found that the medicine had no meaningful effect on deaths or hospitalizations and may even increase the risk of adverse effects, the group said in a statement Tuesday.

Hydroxychloroquine was touted as a Covid-19 treatment by former President Donald Trump and later deemed ineffective. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked its authorization after just a few months when research showed the drug didn’t work against the virus.

The WHO’s recommendation is based on evidence from six randomized controlled trials with more than 6,000 participants with or without known exposure to a person with Covid-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is therefore no longer considered a research priority and resources should be used to evaluate other promising preventive drugs, the WHO said.

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