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From the Frontline of COVID-19: Clinician Perspectives on Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine Toxicity


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Treatment approaches to COVID-19 are rapidly changing, often based on data that are based on case reports and studies that are poorly designed and not adequately powered. There has been an increased interest in the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the treatment based on COVID-19 based on studies where they have been found to be efficient on SARS-CoV-2. This weekend, the FDA has approved the use of these two anti-malaria drugs to treat patients infected by the new coronavirus. While clinical trials are needed to provide scientific evidence that these treatments are effective and safe, pharmacists are starting to see patients taking these medications, often without a prescription and with no regard to dosing regimen and concurrent medication regimens. We chat with Bryan Hayes on the management of patients who present to the ED who may have taken toxic doses of these agents.


Bryan HayesDr. Bryan Hayes is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Attending Pharmacist for EM and Toxicology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is board-certified in Clinical Toxicology. Dr. Hayes is a regular speaker at national EM and pharmacy conferences including the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s Scientific Assembly, American College of Emergency Physician’s Scientific Assembly, and Essentials of Emergency Medicine. He has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, contributes to the Academic Life in EM blog, and has been featured on several EM podcasts including EM:RAP, EMCrit RACC, Critical Care Perspectives in EM, and EMCast. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy and is President of the American Board of Applied Toxicology. He has been honored with an Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Maryland Department of EM's residency program, Preceptor of the Year Awards from the University of Maryland Medical Center's pharmacy residency program and the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacy, and fellowship status in both the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. He resides in Braintree, MA with his wife, Melissa Hayes, PhD, and their two beautiful daughters.

Vicki BasalygaVicki Basalyga, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCPPS, is the Director for the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists. In this role Vicki serves as an information resource and provides guidance to ASHP members regarding science and scientific developments affecting pharmacy practice in health systems. She serves as secretary to the Section executive committee and coordinates activities to accomplish the objectives established by the Section. Additionally, Vicki has assumed the position of Council Secretary for the ASHP's Council on Therapeutics.

Vicki received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Duquesne University and completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Vicki is also a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and a Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacotherapy Specialist.

Prior to her current position at ASHP, Vicki practiced as critical care pharmacist in both the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Other activities Vicki performed included drafting policies and procedures, co-chairing the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, creating and drafting order sets for CPOE conversion and precepting residents and students.

The information presented during the podcast reflects solely the opinions of the presenter. The information and materials are not, and are not intended as, a comprehensive source of drug information on this topic. The contents of the podcast have not been reviewed by ASHP, and should neither be interpreted as the official policies of ASHP, nor an endorsement of any product(s), nor should they be considered as a substitute for the professional judgment of the pharmacist or physician.