Hydroxychloroquine Use for COVID-19 is Discouraged

Hydroxychloroquine Use for COVID-19 is Discouraged

March 27, 2020

As therapies emerge in the treatment of COVID-19, including Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®) and chloroquine (Aralen®), we recognize providers may have questions about prescribing indications. Currently, treatment for COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine is not recommended for non-hospitalized patients or patients with mild lower respiratory symptoms.

To ensure hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine remain available for patients who chronically depend on this medication, and to help prescribers treating hospitalized patients, we recommend the following steps:

  • Providers should NOT prescribe hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to any non-hospitalized patients with mild lower-respiratory symptoms thought to be related to COVID-19, including friends and family.
  • Providers should NOT prescribe prophylactic treatment to asymptomatic patients who have been exposed or test positive for COVID-19, including friends and family.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine may continue to be prescribed for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, malaria, and other non-COVID-related conditions for which there are approved indications. MedStar Health outpatient pharmacies have been instructed to validate and verify each prescription for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to ensure continued responsible prescribing.

We will continue to monitor the evolving treatment guidelines for COVID-19 and appreciate your support in keeping these agents available when needed.