Trump's anti-malaria drug has high COVID-19 death risk

As per the report, these patients were hospitalized from December 2019 to April 2020 and they had either died or were discharged by April 21, 2020. One in six of those taking one of the drugs died, while one in five died if they were taking chloroquine with an antibiotic, and one in four if they were on hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic. Patients who received none of the treatments formed a control group.

Those patients who received the drugs had a death rate roughly twice as high as those who did not receive the drugs, with the rate significantly higher for those that also received the macrolide in addition to hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.

This week, the president of the United States not only revealed that he has been taking an anti-malaria hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drug as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, but he also slammed a study warning about the dangers of its use.

"It is clear that high-profile endorsements for taking these drugs without clinical oversight is both misguided and irresponsible".

"Instead, our findings suggest it may be associated with an increased risk of serious heart problems and increased risk of death", he said in a journal news release.

The highest rate (8%) was among patients given hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic, compared with 0.3% of patients in the control group.

Ramzan Kadyrov: Chechen tyrant 'hospitalised with severe coronavirus'
The Chechen leader has been strongly critical of medics in the republic who have complained of a lack of protective equipment. Russian officials have been accused of lowering its coronavirus mortality rates by ascribing deaths to pneumonia.

Mehra said in a statement these drugs should not be used as treatments for COVID-19 outside of clinical trials. Retail sales of hydroxychloroquine reportedly soared in March, the month Trump called the drug a "game changer" for treating coronavirus. Those who took hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic fared even worse, with those numbers rising to 45% and 411%, respectively.

The authors of the new study said neither drug should be used to treat Covid-19 outside of clinical trials and said randomised clinical trials were needed. Randomized clinical trials are essential to confirm any harms or benefits associated with these agents. When the drugs were used in combination with a macrolide, the death rate rose to more than one in five for chloroquine (22.2%, 839/3,783) and nearly one in four for hydroxychloroquine (23.8%, 1,479/6,221).

It was found in the study that the patients were more likely to die in the hospital and get heart rhythm complications than other coronavirus patients involved in a comparison group.

While the study found an increased risk of in-hospital mortality, the relationship between death and ventricular tachycardia, or the lower chambers of the heart beating quickly, wasn't studied, the doctors said. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the drug emergency use authorization earlier this year but European authorities have been less enthusiastic about the drug.

The doctors conducting the study were: Mandeep Mehra of Harvard Medical School, Sapan Desai of the Chicago-based Surgisphere Corporation, Frank Ruschitzka of University Heart Center at the University Hospital Zurich, and Amit Patel of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah.

The authors found "no evidence" of benefits from hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients-a result that is consistent with the findings of previous studies on the drug, which is most commonly used as a treatment for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.