The controversial new coronavirus drug hydroxychloroquine has appeared in news reports several times in the past few months, thanks to U.S. President Donald Trump’s high praise for the drug and his hope that it could be a treatment for changing COVID-19,media BGR reported. A study of 96,000 COVID-19 patients treated in hospitals worldwide showed that hydroxychloroquine is more likely to cause serious side effects, including death, in neo-coronavirus treatment. The study showed that a version of the treatment that relied on hydroxychloroquine, which is combined with antibiotics, was more harmful to PATIENTs with COVID-19.
The focus on the drug hydroxychloroquine began a few months ago, with a promising study in France, followed by anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine was effective against the new coronavirus. The drug is already safe and effective in fighting malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and the French study seems to be good news. But then U.S. President Donald Trump described the drug as a “game-changer” as a drug that could save patients with COVID-19. Some people heeded his advice and tried to use the drug to prevent the disease, and in the United States at least one person died after taking a drug of a similar name. Nigerians have also died of poisoning after taking the drug.
As more evidence of the potential harm of oxychloroquine continues to emerge, Mr. Trump and his supporters have backed away. But then Mr. Trump shocked the world with his comments, claiming to have been taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19, though there was never any suggestion that the drug might have prevented infection.
A key detail about the safety of hydroxychloroquine is that the drug has been safe for years because of the dose it uses to fight specific diseases. COVID-19 therapy relies on higher doses, which can explain the increased risk of side effects and even death. Now, a new study published Friday in The Lancet provides ample evidence of the dangers of the use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment.
Experts who spoke to The Washington Post agreed that hydroxychloroquine was a bad idea for COVID-19 patients, according to the study.
The study looked at the hospitalization of 96,000 new coronavirus patients on six continents and found that people who took the drug were at higher risk of death than those who did not. Mandeep Mehra, a professor at Harvard Medical School, studied COVID-19 patients admitted to 671 hospitals around the world between December 20, 2019 and April 14, 2020, excluding those who used ventilators and those who received Ridsiewe. The average age of the patients in this group was 54 years, of which 53 per cent were male.
Nearly 15,000 people were given hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine alone or in combination with large cyclosteric esters such as azithromycin or clamycin within 48 hours of diagnosis. In groups receiving hydroxychloroquine, the risk of death increased by 34 per cent and the risk of severe arrhythmia increased by 137 per cent. Those who used hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics performed worse, rising to 45 percent and 411 percent, respectively. Chloroquine leads to a 37% increased risk of death and a 256% increased risk of arrhythmia. When used in combination with antibiotics, the risk of arrhythmia jumps to 311%.
Mehra says it would be unwise to treat COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine. “I want us to have this information in the first place,” he said, “because of the potential harm to patients.” “It’s one thing to have no benefit, but it shows obvious harm,” Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Institute, told The Washington Post. “If there’s any hope for this drug, it’s its death. “
David Maron, director of preventive cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, said: “These findings show absolutely no reason to be optimistic that these drugs may be useful in preventing or treating COVID-19. “
“This drug can be harmful, and no one should take it outside of clinical trials,” said Steven Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “
The new study is observational, meaning the drug was not studied in the control group, but the conclusions are “very worrying,” said Jesse Goodman, a former FDA chief scientist. Peter Lurie, a former FDA official, added that the study was “another nail in the history of hydroxychloroquine — this time the largest ever.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced last week that it had conducted a clinical study of oxychloroquine in 2,000 adults to see how it was applied in combination with azithromycin in COVID-19 patients. A similar study is under way in the UK to see if the drug can protect medical staff from infection. Topol said NIH should reconsider given the Harvard study and other smaller studies that have shown that hydroxychloroquine can be harmful. “It’s hard to ignore the signal and it’s very worrying to continue to give this drug,” he said. “
Geoffrey Barnes, a cardiovascular expert at the University of Michigan, believes the research should go ahead because only the conclusions of clinical trials will reduce some people’s enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine.