On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients, saying the drug carries too many risks without any apparent benefit.
The EUA was first issued in March, and applied to patients hospitalized with the illness and those in clinical trials. In April, the FDA warned doctors against prescribing the drug to COVID-19 patients outside of those settings. Monday’s action will not impact clinical trials, which are expected to continue.
The announcement covers both hydroxychloroquine and a related compound, chloroquine phosphate. These drugs are traditionally used treat malaria and certain autoimmune conditions, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and the FDA’s announcement does not apply to these uses.