On March 28, 2020, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the US) posted some fact sheets for patients/caregivers and Health care providers for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate And Chloroquine Phosphate For Treatment Of Covid-19 In Certain Hospitalized Patients. Below are links to each of the fact sheets.
It is my understanding that the FDA authorization is for certain hospitalized patients but Pharmacists in the US have begun to receive an increasing number of prescriptions from prescribers for patients who had not previously presented with the traditional indications for Hydroxychloroquine. This most likely means that outpatients are now taking Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.
Although I agree with the reasoning of some prescribers who believe in the empirical treatment of COVID-19, (i.e. treatment without a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19), I do not agree with the indiscriminate, over prescribing of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin which has slowly started to trend.
My Advice to Prescribers
1. If you decide to treat, go with Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate rather than Chloroquine Phosphate due to less toxicity with Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate.
2. Do not prescribe 30 or 90 day- supply for healthy friends and family. This would just lead to a shortage of medications to those who really need it right now.
3. It seems there is a case for prescribing Hydroxychloroquine with Azithromycin but please monitor your patients for drug interactions and underlying conditions. (Both drugs cause QT prolongation)
3. Most importantly, please read the fact sheet(s) below before prescribing.
My Advice to the Public
1. Avoid touching people and things outside of your home.
2. Continue to practice hand washing frequently. (Use a moisturizer if your hands begin to dry out)
3. Use of Hand sanitizer when hand washing is not practical.
4. Eat healthy meals
5 Most importantly, please read the fact sheet(s) below for Patients and Caregivers if you are prescribed Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine.
FDA Fact Sheets
For Patients and Caregivers – Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate
For Healthcare Providers – Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate
FACT SHEET FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION (EUA) OF HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE SULFATE SUPPLIED FROM THE STRATEGIC NATIONAL STOCKPILE FOR TREATMENT OF COVID-19 IN CERTAIN HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS
For Patients and Caregivers – Chloroquine Phosphate
For Healthcare Providers – Chloroquine Phosphate
FACT SHEET FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION (EUA) OF CHLOROQUINE PHOSPHATE SUPPLIED FROM THE STRATEGIC NATIONAL STOCKPILE FOR TREATMENT OF COVID-19 IN CERTAIN HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS