FDA warns against combination of malaria drug and Gilead's remdesivir

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a warning to healthcare providers against administering malaria drug hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with Gilead Sciences’ experimental COVID-19 drug, remdesivir.

The agency, based on data from a recent non-clinical study, said the co-administration may result in reduced antiviral activity of remdesivir. It also added it had no such evidence from a clinical setting and that it continues to evaluate all data related to remdesivir. (

The warning comes hours after the agency revoked the emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, which has been touted by the U.S. President Donald Trump.

FDA said it was no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine may be effective in treating the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Gilead’s drug had received emergency use authorization earlier in May as a potential treatment for COVID-19, clearing the way for broader use of the drug in more hospitals around the United States.

Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli