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Trump hooked on COVID-19 drug hydroxychloroquine without prescription

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U.S. President Donald Trump admitted on Monday that he has been on self-medication for about 10 days, taking the malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine.

He told reporters he has been taking it with a zinc supplement to lessen COVID-19 symptoms should he contract it.

So far, the drug is unproven for fighting COVID-19.

Trump spent weeks pushing the drug as a potential cure for COVID-19.

This was against the cautionary advice of many of his administration’s top medical professionals.

The drug has the potential to cause significant side effects in some patients and has not been shown to combat the new coronavirus.

Trump said his doctor did not recommend the drug to him, but he requested it from the White House physician.

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

The Food and Drug Administration warned health professionals last month that the drug should not be used outside of hospital or research settings, due to sometimes fatal side effects.

Regulators issued the alert after receiving reports of heart-rhythm problems, including deaths, from poison control centres and other health providers.

Trump dismissed reports of side effects, saying, “All I can tell you is, so far I seem to be OK.”

At least two White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, sparking concerns about the steps taken by the administration to protect the president.

Thee development sent Vice President Mike Pence and other officials into varying forms of self-isolation.

The White House has since mandated that those in the West Wing wear face coverings.

It also introduced daily testing for the virus for the president, vice president and those they come in close contact with.

Trump has repeatedly pushed the use of the drug with or without the antibiotic azithromycin, but no large, rigorous studies have found them safe or effective for preventing or treating COVID-19.

Two large observational studies, each involving around 1,400 patients in New York, recently found no benefit from hydroxychloroquine.

Two new ones published Thursday in the medical journal BMJ reached the same conclusion.

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