Local Doctor Says Hydroxychloroquine Does Not Prevent COVID-19

On Monday, President Trump said he is taking the controversial drug to prevent coronavirus

Lynne Hayes-Freeland & Robert Mangino
May 19, 2020 - 12:49 pm


PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - On Monday, President Donald Trump announced that he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against COVID-19.

“I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories,” said Trump.

Trump also said that “you’d be surprised how many people are taking it, especially the front line workers before you catch it.”

Allegheny Health Network Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Jen Preiss told KDKA Radio on Tuesday she does not recommend taking hydroxychloroquine.

It is not “an appropriate preventive for COVID,” said Dr. Preiss.

Preiss adds that a large of the people that get coronavirus show little or no symptoms so to take a potentially dangerous drug like hydroxychloroquine would not be recommended.

Preiss says she doesn’t know any healthcare professionals that are taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure.

Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that helps with inflammation and is used to treat conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and malaria.  

Preiss says that the drug helps with inflammation, “but I don’t know that we think that the inflammation from autoimmune diseases is similar to the inflammation for COVID-19,” said Dr. Preiss.

Preiss adds she is unaware of any studies that are looking at hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine.

There is currently a shortage of the drug in the United States and Preiss says it is becoming harder for those that need it for their lupus or other diseases to get it.

In Dr. Preiss’ opinion, she would not prescribe hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine to treat coronavirus, adding the drug can be dangerous and doesn’t interact well with certain medications.

A study is underway at the Washington University School of Medicine investigating if chloroquine, a medicine similar to hydroxychloroquine, can be used the right way to prevent coronavirus.

Doctors say the drug is worthy of investigation and they don’t know it will work but are hopeful.

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