Medical expert talks President Trump's hydroxychloroquine use

bombshell admission from President Donald Trump Monday as he told reporters that he's been taking hydroxychloroquine as a way to ward off the coronavirus.

The inexpensive drug has been around for 65 years, primarily used to treat malaria, arthritis and lupus.

For weeks, the president and some doctors have suggested hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about its effectiveness.

RELATED: Trump says he's taking malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in case he gets coronavirus

With studies suggesting that it works, or doesn't work, it can be difficult to decide whether it's right for treatment and/or prevention.

FOX 10's Matt Galka spoke to a medical expert to find out what you need to know before asking for a prescription.

The drug has shown, at best, mixed results for patients taking it, and at worst, death for some.

Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for WebMD who also formerly worked for the FDA, says anyone with a newfound interest in the drug should consult their doctor, not the web.

He said he was "a bit surprised" by the president's announcement. "This drug is not approved for prevention."

He says when asking for the drug from your doctor, to be "very candid" with your preexisting health conditions. "Is there anything that the drug could protentionally impact?" he asked.

The drug has other ailments, he says. It mainly treats lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. But the side effects, for some, could become very problematic, he warns.

A memo released from Trump's doctor Monday night says the benefits of him taking the drug outweigh the risks.