FDA revokes emergency use of malaria drug touted by President Trump for coronavirus treatment

U.S. & World

FILE – In this April 9, 2020 file photo, a chemist displays hydroxychloroquine tablets in New Delhi, India. U.S. regulators are revoking emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Donald Trump for treating COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration said Monday, June 15 that the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators are revoking emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Donald Trump for treating COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus.

Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA says the drugs pose a greater risk to patients than any potential benefits. The decades-old drugs are also prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. They can cause heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure and muscle or nerve damage.

The move means that shipments of the drugs obtained by the federal government will no longer be distributed to state and local health authorities for use against the coronavirus.

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