Donald Trump has praised the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine several times and announced that he takes it daily as a preventative measure against infection.
However, there is growing evidence that the hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine agents do not help Covid-19 patients.
According to a large study published in “The Lancet” magazine, there could even be a higher risk of death from using the medication.
There is growing evidence that the anti-malarial drugs so highly praised by US President Donald Trump are not a good choice for the treatment of Covid 19 patients.
A new study published on Friday in The Lancet medical magazine found that the drug did not appear to help patients admitted to hospital with the novel coronavirus. Instead, the treatment could even be associated with heart complications and an increased risk of death.
Largest study to date of the effects of antimalarial drugs against Covid-19
The analysis examined the results of 96,032 hospital patients, 14,888 of whom received some form of the malaria medication chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine over a period of four months. Although these have already proven effective in the treatment of malaria and certain autoimmune diseases, their effects in the fight against Covid-19 are still unclear.
The patients were in 671 hospitals on six continents, and the study was led by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Although it was not a randomized controlled trial, it is the largest of its kind in patients with Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The results of patients treated with hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and a macrolide antibiotic, chloroquine or chloroquine and a macrolide antibiotic were examined. Macrolides are a type of antibiotic that contains azithromycin.
Patients who received the medication were at higher risk of death
Ultimately, the authors found no benefit in those who received the treatments compared to those who did not receive the combinations. Instead, the study found an increased frequency of abnormal heartbeats among those who received the medication. Those who received the medication were at higher risk of death than those who did not take the medication.
As a limitation, it must be said that there are limits to this analysis. It was observing in nature. Randomized controlled trials, in which patients are either preemptively assigned to either the drug or a randomly controlled placebo control, are also ongoing. However, their results have not yet been published.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the drug caught the attention of doctors, experts, and the Trump administration as a hopeful tool in the treatment of coronavirus patients. Some early, promising results regarding the drug were released in late March.
Doubts about the effectiveness of antimalarial drugs in Covid-19
On Monday, Donald Trump said publicly that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine every day for a week and a half. Trump caused irritation.
However, additional studies have raised doubts about how effective the drug might be in treating the new coronavirus. A clinical trial in Brazil was discontinued in April after an increase in deaths in patients who received the drug.
The drug has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Covid-19.
Two observational studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association found that among thousands of coronavirus patients in the hospital, those who received the hydroxychloroquine malaria drug did not do better or worse than those who did not did.
This article has been translated from English. You can find the original version here.