FDA Revokes Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine EUA for the Treatment of COVID-19
The FDA has revoked the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate. Based on the available data, these medications do not appear to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 and also present harms, specifically related to cardiac arrhythmias.
An EUA is different than a full FDA approval
EUA based on an FDA evaluation of evidence and risks vs potential or known benefits of “unproven” products during an emergency
Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate, donated to the Strategic National Stockpile, received an EUA to be used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19 when a clinical trial was unavailable, or participation in a clinical trial was not feasible
Based on benefits/harms analysis, these medications no longer meet the EUA requirements
Research has demonstrated the following regarding hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine (see ‘Related ObG Entries’ below)
Hydroxychloroquine showed no benefit on mortality or in speeding recovery (RCT)
Suggested dosing regimens for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are unlikely to kill or inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19
“The totality of scientific evidence currently available indicate a lack of benefit”
FDA approved use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine
Still both FDA-approved to treat or prevent malaria
Hydroxychloroquine is also approved to treat autoimmune conditions such as chronic discoid lupus erythematosus, systemic lupus erythematosus in adults, and rheumatoid arthritis
Note: “FDA approved products may be prescribed by physicians for off-label uses if they determine it is appropriate for treating their patients, including during COVID”
Possible Drug Interaction with Remdesivir
The FDA also released a warning regarding a potential drug interaction between remdesivir and chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine
Data derived from a non-clinical laboratory study demonstrated possible reduction in the antiviral activity of remdesivir activity when co-administered with these medications
The FDA is not currently aware of reduced activity in the clinical setting and continues to evaluate data on this subject
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