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WASHINGTON — As the U.S. scales up purchase and use of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients, a leading Mayo Clinic cardiologist is sounding a warning: Anyone promoting the drug also needs to flag its rare but serious — and potentially fatal — side effects.
After observing the debate over hydroxychloroquine on TV news and in social media, Dr. Michael Ackerman, a genetic cardiologist who is director of the Mayo Clinic’s Windland Smith Rice Genetic Heart Rhythm Clinic, took the unusual step in late March of issuing guidance for physicians.
The article goes on to state the following:
Ackerman and his Mayo Clinic colleagues created a cardiac algorithm, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, to help physicians more safely prescribe hydroxychloroquine by identifying patients at greatest risk for drug-induced sudden cardiac death.
“What disturbed me the most was when I was seeing not political officials say these medications are safe but seeing on the news cardiologists and infectious disease specialists say [hydroxychloroquine] is completely safe without even mentioning this rare side effect,” Ackerman said. “That’s inexcusable.”
*A small recent study showed up to 11% of coronavirus patients on hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are in a “red zone” for potential cardiac side effects*
“What disturbed me the most was when I was seeing not political officials say these medications are safe but seeing on
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) April 7, 2020
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