On our most recent Heart Health Radio, John asked a great question about hydrochloroquine, the malaria drug now being given to COVID-19 pateints.
John: We’ve been taking hydrochloroquine, For years as a prophylactic for malaria.
Dr. Frank Wefald: Yeah. It’s also good for rheumatoid arthritis and I’ve got 50, maybe 60 patients on it.
Caller John: So why…I don’t understand why we didn’t go ahead and let people start taking it…and then worry about is it really effective if there is a possibility of it being good and we know what the side effects are.
Dr. Frank Wefald: Let me tell ya, it’s good for preventing deaths. It will not prevent you from getting Covid. And that’s a good question. What it does…see people who die have an overactive immune system and they produce what’s called an inflammatory storm. And so, they have overreacted to the virus. The virus has activated their immune system in the wrong way. Then it’s good because it drops that amount of inflammation. So, when do we use it? Somebody who is having respiratory difficulties you give it to them to prevent the progression to death. And it’s a good drug. It’s not 100% effective but it’s better than anything we’ve got.
Dave Alexander: Is it possible we’re going to all take this?
Dr. Frank Wefald: No.
Dave Alexander: As a preventative?
Dr. Frank Wefald: No, don’t do it because it’s not going to help you.
Dave Alexander: OK.
Dr. Frank Wefald: It’s only good for when you’ve got it and you’re having trouble breathing. It will help, not in 100% of cases, but it will help prevent you hopefully from getting on a ventilator and if you’re on a ventilator, help you get off of it.
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