Frontline U.K. Healthcare Staff to be Given Trump-Backed Hydroxychloroquine

  • Frontline U.K. Healthcare Staff to be Given Trump-Backed Hydroxychloroquine

Frontline U.K. Healthcare Staff to be Given Trump-Backed Hydroxychloroquine

"Doctors will be free to prescribe those drugs".

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

Doctors have also argued it could be unsafe to take if people don't have a condition the drug is created to help. "I'm on the hydroxychloroquine.' They were like, 'Well, nobody ever said that was the cure or that was going to keep you safe" and it definitely did not".

"It really does give us some degree of confidence that we are unlikely to see major benefits from these drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 and possibly harm", said Aronoff, who was not involved in the research.

The drug Trump says can prevent Covid-19.

Researchers are searching through available options to treat the coronavirus, which has killed more than 330,000 people, including drugs like the antimalarials that are also already approved to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

"Treatment with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine does not benefit patients with COVID-19", said Mandeep Mehra, lead author of the study and executive director of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Disease in Boston.

About 9% of patients taking none of the drugs died in the hospital, versus 16% on chloroquine, 18% on hydroxychloroquine, 22% on chloroquine plus an antibiotic, and 24% on hydroxychloroquine plus an antibiotic.

Professor Landray said thousands of lives could be saved if a drug could reduce fatalities even by one fifth, however he believes that combination therapies may be needed.

They compared the outcomes for almost 15,000 patients who had been treated with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine - either alone or in combination with antibiotics - with more than 81,000 patients who had not been treated with any of those drugs. The authors of the paper pulled together results for more than 96,000 patients in 671 hospitals, taking one of the drugs, with or without an antibiotic such as azithromycin, between 20 December, in Wuhan, China, and 14 April.

It said the drugs should not be used outside ongoing clinical trials which have reached no conclusions over the safety and effectiveness of the medicine on coronavirus.

The team also found that serious cardiac arrhythmias, which cause the lower chamber of the heart to beat rapidly and irregularly, were more common in all the groups receiving one of the four treatment regimens. The research, which was paid for by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia, evaluated data from 368 COVID-19 patients and found that about 28 percent who were given the drug in addition to the usual care died, versus 11 percent of those who only received routine care. The other 81,144 patients served as a control group. Both drugs can produce potentially serious side effects, particularly heart arrhythmia.

The authors estimated that the drugs put patients at up to 45 per cent higher risk of dying from COVID-19 compared with underlying health issues.

Kim said she's on the mend now from her battle against the bug - but warns others the drug alone won't protect them from the virus.