Study: Trump’s malaria medications increase the risk of death from COVID-19

Not so long ago, US President Donald Trump announced that he was taking a cure for malaria – hydroxychloroquine – to prevent coronavirus. The research team has now concluded that taking this drug with COVID-19 treatment poses an additional threat to death due to complications from the cardiovascular system.

The publication notes that “hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, often in combination with second-generation macrolide, are widely used to treat COVID-19, despite the lack of convincing evidence of their usefulness.” Although these drugs are generally safe when prescribed against autoimmune diseases and malaria, “the safety and benefits of these regimens are poorly rated in COVID-19.”

To find the answer, a group of scientists analyzed the data of 96 thousand patients from 671 hospitals around the world (average age – 53.8 years, 46.3% – women). Of these, 14,888 received hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with or without macrolides, and the remaining 81,144 patients were allocated to the control group.

It turned out that the mortality rate in the control group was 9.3%, and the mortality rate in the groups taking the drugs was from 16 to 23.8%, depending on the prescribed treatment regimen, as well as the characteristics of the patient’s life and health. Moreover, a significant part of these additional deaths was caused by problems of the cardiovascular system, in particular, arrhythmia.

It is noted that the dead were more often elderly. Among them were more obese people, men, blacks, or Hispanics; the victims also had comorbidities like diabetes or coronary heart disease, some of them smoked or had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“We did not notice any benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (when used alone or in combination with macrolide) for inpatient treatment when it was prescribed at an early stage after the diagnosis of COVID-19. Each of the dosage regimens of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with macrolide was associated with an increased risk of clinically significant occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias and an increased risk of death in a hospital from COVID-19, ”the study notes.

It is added that “the presence of concomitant cardiovascular pathology can partially explain the observed risk of increased cardiovascular toxicity when using chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, especially when used in combination with macrolides.”

The authors emphasize that the relationship between increased mortality and treatment with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine should be “interpreted with caution,” since they cannot rule out the effect of other mixed factors.

Note that doctors from France withdrew an article on the successful treatment of coronavirus infection with the antibiotic azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine, a medicine for malaria, and also deleted it from the electronic scientific library medRxiv.

By Cindy
In Other
May 26, 2020

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