EU watchdog reiterates caution on hydroxychloroquine use in COVID-19 patients

FILE PHOTO: The drug hydroxychloroquine, pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump and others in recent months as a possible treatment to people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is displayed by a pharmacist at the Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/George Frey

Healthcare professionals should closely monitor COVID-19 patients who are receiving malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, given the serious side effects associated with the medicine, the European health regulator said on Friday.

Several EU countries have paused trials of the drug in patients infected by the new coronavirus over safety concerns, the European Medicines Agency said, adding the drug’s benefits have not been established for the illness.

The World Health Organization also suspended testing the drug in COVID-19 patients last week.

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