Doctors should not treat coronavirus patients with experimental drugs unless it is part of a clinical trial, the National Institutes of Health panel said in new guidelines issued Tuesday.
The guidelines give medical professional details on what drugs to use and when, how to provide extra oxygen to patients struggling to breathe and outlines side effects and complications patients with the coronavirus may experience.
The panel specifically advises against using the combination of antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine with the antibiotic azithromycin because of potential toxic side effects.
The combination has been touted by President Donald Trump for weeks as an effective treatment even though there is no medical recommendation to use the drugs.
The new recommendations also warn against using other experimental drugs due to “insufficient clinical data to recommend either for or against using chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.”
The health experts say experimental drugs should only be administered as part of a clinical trial.
During Tuesday’s White House coronavirus task force meeting, Trump spent time talking about possible vaccines and treatments for coronavirus, but did not mention hydroxychloroquine, MSNBC reports.
When asked about the new NIH guidelines on using the drug, CNN reports Trump avoided answering and said, "we'll take a look at that. I'm always willing to take a look.”
The NIH panel noted no drug has been shown to help patients recover from the virus and no drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment.
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