Using hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment increases mortality rate of patients

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 23, 2020

Mr Trump said he was taking the drug despite public health officials warning that it could cause heart problems.

"This is the first large scale study to find statistically robust evidence that treatment with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine does not benefit patients with COVID-19", he said.

The study evaluated 96,000 Covid-19 patients in 671 hospitals worldwide. Mehra notes that the study included only people diagnosed with COVID-19, while the President has not been reported to be infected. "They were very old, nearly dead", Trump told reporters Tuesday. Others are vaccine candidates who will teach the immune system to create its own antibodies that kill COVID-19. It found that more than 61% of COVID-19 infections and 55% of reported deaths - almost 36,000 people - could have been been prevented had social distancing measures been put in place one week sooner.

According to health experts, Hydroxychloroquine can be recommended for malaria and conditions such as lupus or arthritis. This combination is one President Trump has been encouraging. People in Nigeria were also poisoned.

White House doctor Dr. Sean Conley published a note on Monday stating that after discussing the pros and cons of hydroxychloroquine, he and Trump came to the conclusion that the potential benefit of the drug over the relative risks of using it.

A major study of the way hydroxychloroquine and its older version, chloroquine, have been used on six continents - without clinical trials - reveals a sobering picture. All COVID-19 therapies have been based on higher doses, which may explain the increased risk of side effects or even death. Those 8% of patients combining HCQ with antibiotics were also more likely to develop a heart arrhythmia, the study argues. One might also question whether the resources necessary for large studies might be better diverted to other causes, at the same time allowing the drugs themselves to be used for their original goal. "However, we now know from our study that the chance that these medications improve outcomes in COVID-19 is quite low", co-author of the study Dr. It found that those who were treated with chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine through four methods all died at a higher rate than those who did not received the drug.

Mehra's group analyzed some 96,000 patients from 671 hospitals on six continents with COVID-19 infection, from December 20 to April 14, all of whom had either died or been discharged from the hospital by April 21. The mean age of the group was 54 years, and 53% of the cohort were male.

The study looked at the records of 15,000 people who had been treated with the antimalarials and one of two antibiotics that have sometimes been paired with them.

- A 45% increase in risk of death for those given hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic, and a 411% increase in risk of serious heart arrhythmias. "Why would you risk harm when there is so much consistent data showing lack of benefit [with hydroxychloroquine]?" And what they found was increased risk of death and increased risk of heart issues. When an antibiotic such as azithromycin was added, as some proponents have advocated, the risk jumped to fivefold.

Mehra said the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 is unwise. The work was posted online for researchers and has not been reviewed by other scientists. "If there was ever hope for this drug, this is death".

The drug "can be harmful and nobody should take it outside of a clinical trial", said Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Steven Nissen. "This is a very, very large study".

"Whilst not a placebo controlled trial, an observational study on this scale undertaken with stringent and meticulous analysis is powerful indeed". Topol said of the randomized United States trial. "It is very hard to ignore that signal and it is worrying to keep giving it", he said.

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