Health Highlights: May 26, 2020

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

WHO Suspends Testing of Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 Patients

The World Health Organization has suspended use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in a clinical trial of treatments of COVID-19 after a study found that patients taking the drug are at increased risk for death and serious heart problems.

In light of the study published last week in The Lancet medical journal, there will be “a temporary pause” of the hydroxychloroquine arm of WHO’s global study into experimental COVID-19 treatments, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing Monday.

“This concern relates to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19,” Tedros said. Other treatments being tested in the trial, including the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir and an HIV combination therapy, are still being tested, he added.

Tedros said WHO experts will conduct a comprehensive review of all available data on hydroxychloroquine, the AP reported.


Queen Guitarist Brian May Has Heart Attack

Brian May, the 72-year-old guitarist for the rock band Queen, says he recently suffered a “small heart attack” and had three stents implanted.

In an Instagram video Monday, May said his doctor drove him to the hospital after he began having heart attack symptoms, the Associated Press reported.

He said he was shocked about having the heart attack, because “I thought I was a very healthy guy.”

May said the stent procedure was successful and he feels fine now. “I walked out with a heart that’s very strong now,” May said, the AP reported.


Trump Says He’s Stopped Taking Hydroxychloroquine

U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday that he’d “just finished” taking a two-week course of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as protection against COVID-19, despite growing evidence that it may be dangerous and provides no benefits.

Trump has promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment even though there is no proof that it’s effective, and defended his decision to take the drug in an interview that aired on Sinclair Broadcasting, NBC News reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against use of hydroxychloroquine outside of hospitals due to the risk of serious heart problems.

The antimalarial drug is often used to treat lupus and rheumatoid disease. There are no approved treatments for COVID-19, NBC News reported.