COVID-19: Now, A Brazilian Study Finds Hydroxychloroquine Is Of No Help
There has been more evidence that anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) does not really help in treating the COVID-19 virus.
A Brazilian study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that hydroxychloroquine, given alone or in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, hardly improved the condition of patients hospitalized with mild to moderate symptoms of novel coronavirus, the CNN has reported.
The study, conducted across 55 hospitals in Brazil, covered 504 coronavirus positive persons who needed no oxygen, or were receiving oxygen up to 4 litres per minute.
The patients were being prescribed 400mg of hydroxychloroquine twice daily, or 400mg of hydroxychloroquine twice daily, plus 500mg of azithromycin once daily for seven days.
Neither medicine regime helped improve the condition of patients, who were assessed 15 days later.
On the contrary, the study found some of those patients to have unusual heart rhythms and elevated liver-enzyme levels.
“Among patients hospitalized with mild to moderate COVID-19, the use of hydroxychloroquine, alone or with azithromycin, did not improve clinical status at 15 days as compared with standard of care,” the researchers wrote.
US President Donald Trump had described hydroxychloroquine a “game-changer” in treating COVID-19, and said he took it himself to prevent the infection. But that has not been validated by a number of studies.
Trump had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release hydrochloroquine in April, following which India had despatched the tablet to the US and several other countries.
The National Institutes of Health in US halted its clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus patients last month.