A small group of physicians, a number of whom are affiliated with the ultra-conservative fringe group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, advocate in their publication, “A Guide to Home-Based COVID Treatment,” for using the drug hydroxychloroquine in an out-patient setting if diagnosed with COVID-19. One of their members and two other doctors who promote the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 were invited by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) to testify on their views before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In their testimony, they also advocated for the use of corticosteroids and anticoagulants for treatment outside a hospital setting.
Dr. George Fareed stated, “I blend in corticosteroids and prolong the HCQ treatment for 5 to 30 more days if symptoms warrant but they generally do not.”
Dr. Harvey Risch stated, “What I have observed is that while there have been positive reports about a number of drugs, every study of outpatient use of one drug, hydroxychloroquine, with or without accompanying agents, has shown substantial benefit in reducing risks of hospitalization and mortality.”The AAPS guide says that anticoagulants are “crucial” to treating COVID-19.
The use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 patients has a mixed record: Guidelines from The Infectious Disease Society of America recommended use of corticosteroids in ICU patients with severe COVID or patients requiring oxygen. These two groups had a significant reduction in deaths. In COVID patients who did not require oxygen, they showed no mortality benefit, and in fact showed a trend toward worsening mortality.
There is no sound evidence that using anticoagulants as an early treatment for outpatient people with COVID-19 is beneficial. There are concerns because these drugs can cause serious side effects including brain bleeds and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Patients shouldn’t make any pharmaceutical decisions on their own without consulting their personal physician and should seek emergency medical care if they develop any emergency warning signs as recommended by the CDC.