The US federal government is now left with 63 million doses of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine sulfate (HCQ) in its Strategic National Stockpile after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday revoked permission for the drug to be used for COVID-19 treatment.
In addition to HCQ, the FDA also revoked its authorization of the use of chloroquine phosphate (CQ), which can also treat and prevent malaria, for COVID-19 treatment.
“[The] FDA has determined that CQ and HCQ are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA [Emergency Use Authorization]. Additionally, in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of CQ and HCQ no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorized use. This warrants revocation of the EUA for HCQ and CQ for the treatment of COVID-19,” the FDA wrote in its Monday release.