Health First using Hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients in Brevard County

FDA gives healthcare providers Emergency Use Authorization during pandemic

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Health First said coronavirus patients are being treated at all of its hospitals and some of them are being given Hydroxychloroquine.

It’s a well-known, longtime malaria drug and President Trump has called it a lifesaver.

The drug is now being used by some doctors for COVID-19, despite disagreements about its effectiveness.

But in this pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration is giving healthcare providers "Emergency Use Authorization" to treat certain adult and adolescent patients weighing more than 110 lbs.

Health First said the drug may be used alone or combined with other drugs based on the patient.

For other patients who take the drug for arthritis or other health conditions, the CDC is recommending to try and get an extra supply because of a demand surge since the virus.

The federal government said it's working with manufacturers to assess their supplies

The FDA also warns of side effects that could include damage to your eyes and heart disease.

Health First did not address concerns of any risks to patients, but the company said it's following all federal guidelines under the Emergency Use Authorization.

The health department now reports that Brevard County has more than 100 cases.

This week, Brevard reported its first two deaths.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.