Ainsworth: some perspective on hydroxychloroquine

May 2, 2020 |

Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to protect against malaria –- I took it myself on a trip to India several years ago –- and it has been around for, oh, about 70 years. It’s considered by doctors to be quite a safe drug, though patients should be monitored by their health practitioner “just in case” because it has been associated with heart arrhythmia. Many people who have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune problems have been on this drug for years, even decades, at a time, and some of these patients really need it to get along, as we're discovering now that they're having trouble obtaining it.

But to hear the media, this drug has terrible, life-threatening side effects. Never mind the stories of dramatic reversals and recoveries; this drug will KILL YOU, even if you're on it for a week or less. President Trump has been irresponsible for suggesting this drug might be helpful in keeping coronavirus patients out of the hospital and off ventilators.

Over the years, medical science has indeed brought us harmful drugs (thalidomide comes to mind) and ineffective drugs. But it looks as though hydroxychloroquine will go down in history as the first politically-incorrect drug.

Since they’ve gone on and on so much about the risks of taking this drug, I got curious and decided to do a little research. So, check these bad boys out: signs of an allergic reaction, such as “rash; hives; itching; red, itching, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing or talking; unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat. Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes. Fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or feeling very tired or weak. Feeling confused. Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there.) Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed. Seizures. Very bad dizziness. Very bad headaches. Very bad joint pain. Vaginal itching or discharge. Diarhhea is common...Rarely, a severe form called C diff-associated diarrhea (CDAD) may happen. Sometimes this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen during or a few months after taking. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, cramps, or very loose, watery or bloody stools...A very bad skin reaction (Stevens/Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose or eyes...Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away: stomach pain or diarrhea, upset stomach or throwing up. These are not all the side effects that may occur...This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects or risks that may apply to this medicine.”

Wow, that IS overwhelming. I'm not so sure I should ever take this medicine, even for just a few days; It seems you really could die from taking it. The list of possible reactions goes on and on.

But I suppose it’s time to tell you that this is not the list of risks associated with hydroxychloroquine. This list was taken directly from the insert that came in the bag from my drugstore yesterday along with my prescription for an antibiotic called Cephalexin. I’ve been prescribed this exact same drug numerous times in my life, even when I was a very young child with sinus infections; it went under the brand name Keflex. How could my doctor have been so irresponsible as to prescribe it for me? How could my parents have taken such a risk? But here I am --- I lived to tell the tale!

Just a little something to put this issue into perspective. If President Trump had touted Keflex as a way to (in my case) prevent infection after a relatively minor outpatient procedure, the media would be screaming that this is really a very dangerous drug and his ignorance is killing people.

As for me –- because I HAVE done my research –- if I do come down with COVID-19 (actually, I think my husband and I both had it last winter and want to take the antibody test), I will immediately ask my doctor for just three things: hydroxychloroquine, the “Z-pack,” and zinc. Anyone who has a problem with that can go take a long walk inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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Comments 1-25 of 48

  • Bob Nestor

    05/09/2020 12:01 PM

    Physicians and pharmacists have been using different medications for non approved indications almost forever. The fact that the use of this medication combo is not going to be used long term by susceptible individuals is worth trying it. Think of it as a large scale study to record the clinical outcomes of what the effect on the severity of the virus in humans would be. Let us look at these outcomes before we sentence a possible treatment tool to death. I am sure if a member of the liberal press were exposed they would have no issue with "sneaking" a dose.

  • mary talmadge

    05/04/2020 03:55 PM

    All I know is my husband was very ill and close to being put in the hospital . He took the hydroxycloroquine for a week and he is back on his farm tractor. To politicize a drug that saves lives is beyond ludicrous.

  • judy Vansickle

    05/04/2020 02:06 PM

    I took this drug for five years about 15 to 20 yrs ago when doctors thought I had Lupus...I do not...I have Lyme disease....but anyway I had no side affects whatsoever from the drug...nothing....As far as I am concerned we should give it a try....makers are stock piling it....is my bet. That is probably why it can not be found. The drug is cheap...they want people to use the more expensive drug....at $1000 a shot....so they can line their pockets.

  • Nancy Eberbaugh

    05/04/2020 12:37 PM

    It is a fact that the media, fake news and Democrats care nothing and I believe nothing about the Human lives that Donald Trump is trying to save!! Everything is centered around politics and they are trying to undermine everything that Trump says is good to help the people of the US!! They say the opposite and they do not care anything about the people and their lives - it is all about the Democratic platform and add so much Pork to these bills that only work for the Dems!!!

  • paul skinner

    05/04/2020 11:01 AM

    So the hydroxy combo costs maybe $50? Downplayed by Dr. Fauci and MSM. The newest drug, Remsivir (pardon the incorrect spelling) will cost more than $1,000, but has Fauci's blessing. Fauci has been involved with FDA approval of this drug. Gee, suppose there's a conflict of interest here?

    Better yet, take some Ivermectin which is perhaps even more effective than hydroxy, costs about the same and gets rid of your worms at the same time.

    Fauci needs to be fired forthwith!

  • marcia price

    05/04/2020 12:19 AM

    right there with ya! Already talked to my doc.

  • Gregory Weinman

    05/03/2020 10:03 PM

    Ms Ainsworth, If you are unfortunate and do contract the Wuhan virus please consider one of the FDA approved antiviral drugs, Leronlimab or Remdesivir, instead of HCL
    HCL in addition to blocking the malaria parasite has long term benefit as an anti inflammatory drug. That is why Lupus and RA patients take it. Very few anti inflammatory drugs are safe for long term use. HCL is one of the least expensive.
    The body's response to infection, white blood cells, produces cytokines. A few are beneficial mobilizing more white blood cells in defense against the invader but too often an overly aggressive response produces a fatal cytokine storm. Anti inflammatory drugs mitigate this release syndrome giving the body time for white blood cells wondrous work.
    Please stick with the 2 antiviral drugs now in clinical trials.

  • James Evart

    05/03/2020 08:58 PM

    I copied the following comment from one of your readers:
    Concerning the drug, Hydroxychororquine ,I read a post on Facebook that stated: China holds a patent for Remdesivir through an agreement with Gilaed's drug subsidiary branch called UNITAID who has an office in Wuhan . The main financial investors in UNitaid are Soros, Gates, and the WHO . Gilaed and Unitaid were supporters of Hillary Clinton as was Fauci . and Fauci was the one authorized to send millions to the Wuhan Institute of Virology specifically for the study of Coronaviruses. It should be in the news if true !! You can't always believe everything on Facebook so I really really
    want to know if this is true !!

    I ALSO WANT TO KNOW IF THIS IS TRUE?????!!!!!!!!!

    From what I have seen, HCQ works very well and the media and big Pharma, Gates, Soros, Fauchi and the other agenda driven liberals, politicians and media all have a stake in keeping our economy depressed and the people under their thumb of fear. As much as I am against rash behaviour, these people truly need to be exposed and locked up!

  • Jeanne Zaugg

    05/03/2020 07:37 PM

    Our whole family (ages mid 30's to infants) took chloroquine for YEARS as a malaria prophylaxis with no side effects. Only one manufacturer made it in a plastic coated form that would not dissolve in the GI tract. We either had to take uncoated tabs, or break the plastic coated ones. So a claim that it won't help treat the Covid might depend on its form of administration.

  • Gregory George Keller

    05/03/2020 06:45 PM

    With more and more of our civil liberties taken away is the attorney general Barr aware of state government violating our constitutional rights ? I would also like to remind people that the long lines Is what socialism is all about . Thank you for speaking truth love your show

  • Kathy Ferguson

    05/03/2020 05:52 PM

    Laura, as a nurse practitioner with over 40 years experience, I can assure you a similar list of possible side effects (or worse) would have been in ANY medication bag prescribed by your physician. As a thinking, mature, RESPONSIBLE adult, if infected with this Chinese virus (COVID-19) I, too, would insist on hydroxychloroquine, a Z-pac, and Zinc.

  • Mitchell fillet

    05/03/2020 05:47 PM

    It’s time for VietNam veterans to stand up and talk about hydroxychloroquine. The Army handed out those pills like they were candy

  • Donna Beggs

    05/03/2020 05:36 PM

    It has been keeping me going for 22 years with my Scleroderma, so I pray no one asks me to switch!

  • Mary Tomlin

    05/03/2020 04:57 PM

    You are right Laura. My daughter-in-law had the virus. After a week of terrible body aches and high fever at home, she started having breathing problems and was put in ICU. she was given those drugs and got out of the hospital in two days.

  • Don St. John

    05/03/2020 04:32 PM

    Thanks for the article. I am going to print it out and use it to "get the goat" of a few liberals around here.

  • Laura McCament

    05/03/2020 04:18 PM

    Yes, as I was reading the reaction/side effects I was think "yep, standard reactions" Every drug you take has a super long list of things...even death. So tired of all the hype! Thanks for your research! I will be much moire inclined to take the recovery drug + zinc, than a vaccination (I NEVER get the flu shot, pretty sure I will recover from the flu as well as covid 19).

  • Clara Herrin

    05/03/2020 04:15 PM

    Mike...I have finally seen the light. OMG...All these Democrat governors and other leftist politicians who have been acting as if they had gone stark, raving mad actually have an agenda. They are tired of being in office, but they don't know how to leave their positions and go back home. So, they have come up with the perfect plan. They will act like unhinged idiots, making crazy regulations that turn every single constituent against them. Then, when election time comes around, they will be voted out of office. That way, they don't have to take any more responsibility for their stupid actions. Whattia think?

  • Robin Rebhan

    05/03/2020 04:12 PM

    What are the side effects of being a democrat??
    Is there enough space here?

  • Erik

    05/03/2020 03:53 PM

    I’m 99.9% confident I had covid back in February. I’ve been trying to take the antibody test but have not been successful in finding it. My insurance has not been helpful. I live in California and right now all they care about are people who may have symptoms now. I’m hearing from so many people that they believe they had covid 19 months ago, in the fall and winter. And I’m thinking why not pay attention to people who may have had it already! It can end the lockdown if millions have already had the virus and it passed. The people in charge are not doing a good job and have their priorities mixed up focusing on just people who may have it now.

  • Donna Fletcher

    05/03/2020 03:43 PM

    This is the only thing that keeps me from having severe cramps in my thighs. front and back. This is #10 pain for 10 minutes. That doesn't sound like a long time but it is extreme pain. I watch the clock and count the minutes. If it is only in one leg then sometimes it will start in the other leg. 10 more minutes.I can expect to have them when I eat too many sweets so that's when I take quinine before I go to bed. I was very upset when it was taken away.

  • Don Mummert

    05/03/2020 03:28 PM

    We have to get to an approved treatment soon and I truly believe the HCQ/Antibiotic/Zinc should be done. People have to feel safe and this treatment would do it. Too many businesses depend on people being in close proximity to one another and until a treatment is approved, those businesses will suffer the most or go out of business completely.

  • Cheryl Breon

    05/03/2020 03:20 PM

    I think those who have an agenda to keep the lockdown going on and on, also don't like the fact that we have a "cure" staring us in the face! It drives me crazy when even people like Marco Rubio said "if we could find an 'effective treatment' then things would be better." IF????? YOU HAVE ONE!! It's like when they said "it's the economy stupid", I want to say "IT'S THE HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE SUPID!!" Stop saying "if"!! Ridiculous. My doctor, too, said if I got sick, he would get the hydroxy out of the city of Gainesville, FL. He's a preventive doctor. You can't get it in Gainesville which has a regular hospital, a teaching hospital, (exactly WHAT are they teaching except if a drug is cheap and effective and safe, been studied for 65 years, we can't use it), and a VA Hospital (my husband has worked at 2 of them and now works at the VA). Let's come up with some untested (for very long) expensive, unavailable drug! Why? Because, why, our god, Dr. Fauci, has deemed it so! I just hate that 30 million people are suffering financial loss and possible ruin because they won't tell people this is essentially a CURE. And other countries are using it as their FIRST line of defense! Why are we dumber than other countries? We are not. We just have a liberal agenda which says the more confusion you can cause, the better for the way of socialism. Never let a good crisis go to waste. So, what do you think? Are we in the tribulation, Mike? I know, I know, no one knows the day or the hour. But shoot, this is nuts!

  • Janet Pingston

    05/03/2020 03:16 PM

    I agree. This would be my choice - after all I have heard - I would accept the risk. The new drug the news is speaking about (R) is china owned. How convenient to unleash the virus and then try and corner the market on the cure. What that the plan all along ?

  • Phil Gassman

    05/03/2020 02:54 PM

    Dear Governor Huckebee & Ms. Ainsworth:

    First of all, I want to thank you for your daily injection of sanity into the bizarre lefist media world that has evolved in our land due to TDS. I receive inputs from several solid news sources; .e.g., your newsletter, Family Research Council, Washington Times, Fox (most of the time). Your news and other reliable news sources are a hugely valued buffer and blessing in an era of unrestrained propaganda. I never purposely seek political news from CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, Wash. Post and other corrupted left wing outlets although I do learn about their continuous efforts to manipulate listeners/readers via the tracking that you and others regularly provide (including reports about President Trump's tweets ... I don't have a Twitter account)!

    I wanted to specifically mention my appreciation for your continued reporting and insights regarding hydroxychloroquine including Laura's May 2 contribution. I can tell you with absolute certainty it is being used at our local hospital (Ames, IA) because an older member of our church was treated with it last week (turned out the condition was not COVID-19). I have heard of numerous other reports of it being used in other parts of the country as well including from a young guy who called into Dennis Prager during one of his fireside chat videos (I recall the guy was a student who attended Michigan State and worked at a hospital there in the community ... unfortunately I can't find the video at present). That caller noted they were having a lot of success of with it.

    I also wanted to provide an interesting insight regarding the infamous case of the couple drinking the fish bowl cleaner in AZ, which was claimed to be due to bad advice from President Trump (I purposely linked to the Wash. Post article below about that, which of course was the standard leftist misinformation). Those of us who actually want to hear real news now know that the husband did not drink such stuff willingly and that local authorities are taking a closer look at his wife's role in that unfortunate turn of events. It turns out that couple literally lived next door to our daughter Nicole in Waterloo, IA, before they moved to AZ, and they still own the house (well, the wife owns it now). Nicole posted several paragraphs about her interactions with them on Facebook. He was a committed Christian who was also a very intelligent engineer that worked for John Deere (Nicole is also a JD engineer). He would have never drank something that was poisonous, etc. in his right mind. Nicole also noted that the wife had extensive personal problems in her Facebook post.

    Phil

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/24/coronavirus-chloroquine-poisoning-death/

  • Alma Thompson

    05/03/2020 02:25 PM

    It seems to me that the malaria drug is given more like a tempory vaccine-before one gets malaria. I thought it insincere to give it to only patients on ventilators after all other options were too late. Why not at the first signs and then to all contacts of that person. Save the keflex for more symptons, perhaps after a true diagnosis on the tests that take days and days.