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Politics Large Study Finds No Benefit — and Potential Harm — in Using Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

01:06  23 may  2020
01:06  23 may  2020 Source:   time.com

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"In this study , we found no evidence that use of hydroxychloroquine , either with or without azithromycin, reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized Trump has touted the drug as a "game changer" for Covid - 19 and said hydroxychloroquine shows "tremendous promise."

Hydroxychloroquine found to harm COVID - 19 patients. Another big study finds no benefit for COVID - 19 patients. Hydroxychloroquine does not help COVID - 19 patients, and indeed may increase deaths, according to a large , international study published Friday in The Lancet.

In the largest observational study thus far investigating the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, researchers found little evidence that it helps, and worrying evidence that the medication may cause harm.

a close up of a bottle: A bottle and pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a counter at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20, 2020. © George Frey — AFP/Getty Images A bottle and pills of Hydroxychloroquine sit on a counter at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20, 2020.

In a study published May 22 in the journal Lancet, scientists in the U.S. and Switzerland report on an analysis of more than 96,000 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 in 671 hospitals on six continents. Nearly 15,000 patients were treated with one of the following: chloroquine (which is an older version of hydroxychloroquine), hydroxychloroquine, or either of those drugs in combination with an antibiotic. The remainder did not receive any of these medications and served as the control.

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Trump addressed hydroxychloroquine in a briefing with reporters. He said many “good things” have come out about hydroxychloroquine and claimed many frontline workers are taking it to prevent COVID - 19 . He then told reporters he was taking hydroxychloroquine “right now,” and started taking

"This provides evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not apparently treat patients with Covid 19 The study also raised important safety concerns about hydroxychloroquine . In the study , eight Abnormal heart rhythms are a known side effect of hydroxychloroquine , which has been used for

People in any of the four treatment groups were more likely to die during their hospitalization than those not treated. People receiving either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine alone were 16% to 18% more likely to die in the hospital compared to those not receiving the medications, and those treated with these medications in combination with an antibiotic were 22% to 24% more likely to die in the hospital. These risks remained significant even after the researchers controlled for factors such as smoking, underlying heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or immune conditions.

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Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine didn’t benefit patients with the coronavirus, either alone or in combination with an antibiotic, according to the study published The drugs should only be used for Covid treatment as part of robust studies that will definitively show their impact, the researchers said.

A study performed in New York hospitals found no evidence of either harm or benefit from giving the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to severely ill US regulators last week authorized the emergency use of the experimental drug remdesivir against COVID - 19 after it was shown in a major clinical trial

In addition, those receiving the medications had higher risk of developing abnormal heart rhythms — a known risk factor of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — compared to people who were not treated with the medications.

“However we sliced and diced the data, the results were identical,” says Dr. Mandeep Mehra, chair of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the study. “There was no evidence of benefit, and a consistent signal of harm — and in particular, harm linked to heart rhythm disturbances.”

The findings come as U.S. President Donald Trump claimed to be taking hydroxychloroquine, which he requested from the White House physician, because he “heard a lot of good stories.” Mehra notes that the study included only people diagnosed with COVID-19, while the President has not been reported to be infected.

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A new study -- the largest of its kind -- shows that hydroxychloroquine Study finds no benefit , higher death rate in patients taking hydroxychloroquine for Covid - 19 . "I'd be surprised if there were many patients and their families or doctors who would want to pursue using hydroxychloroquine ."

Under study for COVID - 19 . Hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, are currently under study as possible treatments for COVID - 19 . This damage is more likely when the drug is used in high doses. This drug should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

Hydroxychloroquine is approved to treat malaria — replacing chloroquine in many parts of the world after the malaria parasite became resistant to chloroquine — as well as some autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, because of its ability to tamp down inflammation. Doctors started to turn to the drug to treat COVID-19 after a small study in France suggested it might help alleviate some of the disease’s inflammatory symptoms, which can compromise breathing and cause respiratory failure. The evidence for the drug’s effectiveness, however, hasn’t been established, although ongoing rigorous trials randomly assigning patients to receive hydroxychloroquine or placebo are still ongoing (including one headed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health).

But there is growing evidence that the medication may not be as helpful as doctors had hoped. In a study of more than 1,300 people admitted to New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Irving Medical Center, for example, people receiving hydroxychloroquine did not show any lower rate of needing ventilators, or a lower risk of dying during the study period than those not getting the drug. Studies from Europe and China similarly failed to find that the drug showed any benefit for patients.

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A new study from Veterans Affairs showed a higher death rate among COVID - 19 patients who were given hydroxychloroquine . In it, researchers analyzed the medical records of 368 male patients with COVID - 19 from March 9 to April 11, at which point the men had either been discharged or had died.

Additional benefits shown in some studies , AAPS states, is to decrease the number of days when a patient is contagious, reduce the need for Peer-reviewed studies published from January through April 20, 2020, provide clear and convincing evidence that HCQ may be beneficial in COVID - 19

Those studies have led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to warn health providers that they should not prescribe hydroxychloroquine off-label for COVID-19 patients unless they are part of a research study or carefully monitored in a hospital setting.

In fact, as the evidence continues to suggest that hydroxychloroquine may not provide much benefit, and instead might increase the risk of harm to the heart, Mehra says doctors may shift from considering hydroxychloroquine to other drugs being studied as COVID-19 treatments, like remdesivir. Studies indicate that remdesivir, an antiviral that has not yet been approved to treat any disease, may help people with COVID-19 to recover faster, and the drug received FDA emergency use authorization to treat hospitalized patients. Unlike hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir has not been linked to serious side effects so far, and therefore may be a more attractive option for doctors treating COVID-19 patients.

“They may be more likely to try something where there is a better chance of showing a net positive outcome,” says Mehra. “Why would you risk harm when there is so much consistent data showing lack of benefit [with hydroxychloroquine]?”

Coronavirus: France bans treatment of Covid-19 with hydroxychloroquine .
© iStockphoto It was hopeful in the fight against the coronavirus, but now there are doubts about hydroxychloroquine. Some experts even believe that it could increase the death rate - which is why Covid-19 treatment with the malaria drug has been stopped. In France, people with Covid 19 may no longer be treated with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. The government released a corresponding decree on Wednesday, as the Ministry of Health announced.

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This is interesting!