ROCHESTER, Minn. - While there's not yet a cure or treatment for Covid-19, doctors all over the country are using off label medications to improve symptoms. Off-label means the medication is FDA approved for a different purpose than it's being used for. Prescribing off-label drugs is fairly common in the medical world.
For example, an antimalarial medication is currently popularly used on some Covid-19 patients. Dr. Michael Ackerman is a genetical cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. He recently published a paper warning that this drug and others can put a small percentage of patients at risk for sudden cardiac death.
"Our whole paper is to neutralize the wild west that we observed going on in the healthcare sector in social media, where some people were oblivious to this side effect and others were excessively paranoid about this, that these drugs were gonna be deadly in everyone and saying, 'wait a second, both of those are wrong,'" says Ackerman.
There are ways to evaluate patients' risk for this side effect, such as knowing if the heart's rythym is already unsteady. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ackerman's research.