PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after the couple took a medicine touted by President Donald Trump as treatment for COVID-19.
Banner Health says the couple in their 60s took chloroquine, a malaria medication, and got sick within 30 minutes.
It’s unclear if the couple ingested the medication specifically because of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The medicine is usually obtained by prescription, and Banner Health is urging medical providers against prescribing it to people who aren’t hospitalized.
Last week, Trump falsely stated the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the use of chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus. Even after the FDA chief clarified that the drug still needs to be tested, Trump overstaed the drug’s potential upside in containing the virus.
Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, says the last thing health officials want is for emergency rooms to be swamped by patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.