Friday, 05 June, 2020


Hydroxychloroquine 'offers no benefit' to hospital patients with Covid-19

UK to test anti-malaria drugs on health workers Covid 19 coronavirus: Woman who took Trump-approved hydroxychloroquine for 19 years still got coronavirus
Patty Aguilar | 22 May, 2020, 21:05

His comments set off a firestorm of controversy among health experts and physicians who urged the public not to take medications unless prescribed by a doctor.

Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), with or without an antibiotic, in hospitalized COVID-19 patients were associated with increased risk of death in the hospital and higher rates of arrhythmias, analysis of outcomes in almost 100,000 patients indicated.

It comes just days after the U.S. president's decision to take hydroxychloroquine was described as "a staggering, irresponsible act that could very well also amount to self-harm" and there are fears his actions risk running down supplies of the drug for people with other conditions who need it.

"The best way to find out if they are effective in preventing COVID-19 is in a randomized clinical trial". The drugs are used to prevent and treat malaria and can reduce fever and inflammation.

"Several countries have advocated use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, either alone or in combination, as potential treatments for COVID-19", said Frank Ruschitzka, director of the Heart Centre at University Hospital Zurich and co-author of the study.

The 15,000 patients who received HCQ or chloroquine were about twice as likely to die compared to controls who did not receive these agents after adjusting for covariates (18.o% for hydroxychloroquine and 16% for chloroquine versus 9.3% for controls), reported Mandeep Mehra, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.

The big picture: The medical journal's review consisted of 96,000 hospitalized patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in six continents, the largest analysis of medical records on the drug, between December 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020.

Professor Landray said thousands of lives could be saved if a drug could reduce fatalities even by one fifth, however he believes that combination therapies may be needed.

A study published Friday by the medical journal Lancet found more patients treated with President Trump's long-touted antimalaria treatment for COVID-19 died than recovered.

The team also found that serious cardiac arrhythmias, which cause the lower chamber of the heart to beat rapidly and irregularly, were more common in all the groups receiving one of the four treatment regimens.

Despite Trump's enthusiasm for using hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment, his own government's Food and Drug Administration warns against it. One might also question whether the resources necessary for large studies might be better diverted to other causes, at the same time allowing the drugs themselves to be used for their original objective. The other 81,144 patients served as a control group.

"Furthermore, it is clear that high-profile endorsements of taking these drugs without clinical oversight are both misguided and irresponsible".

Even though it is only observational, the size and scope of the study gives it a lot of impact, said Dr. David Aronoff, infectious diseases chief at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Earlier this week it was announced that a trial to see whether the drugs could prevent Covid-19 had begun in Brighton and Oxford.

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