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

Hydroxychloroquine tablets

Because the drugs have demonstrated antiviral effects in laboratory studies, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are still worth studying, the researchers noted, and said the need for randomized clinical trials is urgent. "Each of these drug regimens was associated with decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19", the researchers from Harvard and other institutions concluded.

About 8% of those taking hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic developed a heart rhythm problem vs. 0.3% of the patients not taking any of the drugs in the study.

"There is no evidence of benefit and there is evidence of harm", Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency care physician and executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, said after the president claimed he's taking the drug. "Instead, our findings suggest it may be associated with an increased risk of serious heart problems and increased risk of death".

The drugs are approved for treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and for preventing and treating malaria, but no large rigorous tests have found them safe or effective for Covid-19. Those answers can only come from large studies in which patients are randomly assigned to either receive the drugs or a placebo.

About 15,000 patients were in the treatment groups, who had received hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine alone or in combination with a type of antibiotics.

The drug hydroxychloroquine offers no benefit to patients hospitalised with Covid-19, according to a new study in The Lancet.

According to the worldwide news agency, The death rates of the treated groups were: hydroxychloroquine 18%; chloroquine 16.4%; control group 9%.

The report further revealed that around 1 in 6 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine alone died in the hospital.

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The researchers have threatened that hydroxychloroquine should not be used outside of clinical trials.

Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said more research was needed, but added: "A definitive answer still awaits the results of the randomised trials, but it is clear that the drugs should not be given for treatment of Covid-19 other than in the context of a randomised trial".

Those who were treated with hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide had a mortality rate of 23.8 percent.

Trump has two major risk factors when it comes to COVID-19: He's over 65 and considerably overweight.

The Lancet study looked at data from 671 hospitals, where 14,888 patients were given either hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, with or without the antibiotic macrolide, and 81,144 patients were not on any of the treatment regimens.

Those who took the drug paired with an antibiotic had a 45% increased risk of death and a 411% risk of heart arrhythmias. He told reporters that he has been taking the drug, in combination with azithromycin, for over a week. "And in this case, there seems to be very little benefit from all of the studies we already have seen and really you're left with risk".

The results of the experiment were released a few days after US President Donald Trump announced the daily use of hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of coronavirus.

Therapies that relied on a version of hydroxychloroquine combined with an antibiotic were even more unsafe for COVID-19 patients, the study shows.

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