This FDA not approving hydroxychloroquine really grinds my gears. Their reasoning is that it can cause arrhythmia, so the benefits dont outweigh the risks. Right.
I decided to take a look at what the CDC recommends for H1N1. They must have thought their drugs then had benefits that outweighed the risks.
The drugs they authorized for emergency use for H1N1 and influenza-like illness are oseltamivir (tamiflu), zanamivir (relenza), and premavir. They are all approved for pediatric use, the first two approved for ages UNDER one year old. They all have an adverse reactions, including arrhythmia, but the psychiatric side effects caught my attention.
They all have “vir” at the end, and they all are in the same family of neuraminidase inhibitors (antivirals). How they can it be that the same psychological effects in all three medications are not conclusively associated with the drugs? Remdesivir is the “vir” that they’re pushing for COVID-19, the untested drug authorized currently for emergency use. Very interesting.
The psychological side effects include “confusion as to time place and person,” “holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts,” and “seeing, hearing, and feeling things that are not there.” “Frequency is unkown, [and] these events appear to be uncommon.” The worst part about it, is that it is most common among pediatric patients!!
For premavir the guidelines even state, “Efficacy and safety have not been evaluated in hospitalized patients. Even though the data are insufficient to allow FDA approval, the FDA issued an EUA for treatment with peramivir of hospitalized patients with 2009 H1N1 influenza who have potentially life-threatening suspected or laboratory confirmed infection.” The main side effect being delirium.
Drugs like Tamiflu are widely prescribed during flu season, and they always seem to run out at every pharmacy. Most people are told to take it after they finally go to a doctor after suffering a few days. However, the NIH website (link provided) says, “Oseltamivir needs to be taken within 48 hours after the flu symptoms start. If someone has already had symptoms for longer, it will not have an effect on the course of their flu.”
So it must work super well, right? The NIH website also stated, “With Tamiflu, the duration of symptoms was shortened by a number of hours (from 7 to 6.3 days) in adults, and by about a day in children.” HOURS. The kicker is that if you look at the common side effects for these drugs (links provided), they are flu symptoms from nausea to severe headaches to flu-like musculoskeletal pain.
The same people are making those decisions now as then. New drugs were pushed then, like now. Drugs they werent sure worked. Drugs with loads of side effects and really bad ones for kids, and they approved it for use in infants!
Make of it what you will. Those are the facts.