Finding a cure or treatment for the Coronavirus has become a pressing matter over the past few months. Scientists and medical professionals are still searching for ways to create a vaccine or treatment for this virus. As a result, the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients and even possibly prevent the virus has been a topic for debate. With some research showing it has no effect on the virus and some medical professionals and politicians claiming it has great results, the debate of the effectiveness of this medicine on COVID-19 has resulted in a political controversy.
Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug that has been used since the 1940s to treat malaria. It has also been used to treat other illnesses in the past such as, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Although it has been effective in the past, its effectiveness on COVID-19 has not yet been proven. This medicine, like many others, has the possibility of causing complications and other health risks such as heart rhythm issues and many more.
“I am not a medical professional nor am I involved in research with hydroxychloroquine. With that being said, based off of the publications I’ve read in reference to the use of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of malaria and lupus, I am sure it can be in those cases if dosage is administered by medical professionals. Even then, I hesitate to use the word ‘safe’ as the use of hydroxychloroquine has been noted to result in many negative side effects, some being lethal. I do not believe any dosage is currently safe in reference to using it as treatment for COVID-19,” chemistry teacher Ms. Kiely said.
The Food and Drug Association does not seem to approve the use of this drug for COVID-19 patients. On June 15, the emergency use authorization was revoked. The reason behind this being that there was not enough evidence to support the medicine’s effectiveness on COVID-19. This means the availability of this drug will no longer be facilitated.
“The FDA obviously, is a very meticulous group and they want to make sure whatever they go out and deem as a cure genuinely is able to be administered at a grand level and in large amounts, rather than some other prescription that’s meant for other issues,” senior Aya Hamza said.
Although the Food and Drug Association does not support the use of this drug for COVID-19, President Donald Trump seems to be very supportive of its use for the virus. At one point, the President was taking the medicine himself, but he has since then discontinued use. With the varying opinions of politicians and medical professionals, a debate among the people has begun. Some people agree with the President in believing this may be a possible treatment for COVID-19, while others seem to side with the FDA in believing there is not enough evidence in support of this and that the risk factors are too great.
“The FDA are the ones who run all the different vaccines and medicines. So, they probably know more about what they are talking about than our President does because they are specialized in that,” freshman Nina Faraldo said.
Whether hydroxychloroquine helps in relieving and/or preventing COVID-19 and its symptoms remains unknown. However, studies are still being conducted to determine its effectiveness. While a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is still being sought out, students can remain hopeful that once it has been found the return to our everyday activity may be possible.