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“There are still things we don’t know about [Hydroxychloroquine],” Caudle told Fox News‘ Trace Gallagher early Tuesday.
Caudle went on to say, “Just because we’ve used it for other conditions doesn’t mean that we would know if in the context of this disease state, if it’s safe, if it’s effective, at what dosing.”
Caudle acknowledged that it’s a drug that people are familiar with, however, there is still work that needs to be done.
“There are still almost just as many questions and that’s why it has to be studied rigorously. We need to make sure that not only that this works but that it is safe for people. We don’t know that right now.”
Antiviral drugs have sparked optimism in the fight against coronavirus, with President Donald Trump, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and many more expressing hope for their success.
Some of the most touted drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine, are already being prescribed off-label by some doctors in the United States for the coronavirus. New York State begins clinical trials using Tuesday.
The governments of China and South Korea also encourage the use of the drug in their official treatment guidelines. On Monday, India’s Council of Medical Research recommended its use in many cases. Hydroxychloroquine is cheap, generic and already widely available around the world as a malaria treatment.
But what is the evidence behind its use?
Multiple researchers have demonstrated that hydroxychloroquine is effective against the virus in test tubes in lab settings. President Trump tweeted about the study Saturday, calling the drugs potential “game changers.”
Caudle emphasized that the only positive results so far on hydroxychloroquine come from a very small sample of coronavirus patients.
Fox News Maxim Lott contributed to this report.