CNN Reports Hydroxychloroquine Leads to Increased Risk of Death

Henrietta Strickland
May 23, 2020

The researchers said that after considering multiple confounding factors when compared with mortality in the control group, hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine with macrolide, chloroquine, and chloroquine with a macrolide were "independently associated with an increased risk of de-novo ventricular arrhythmia during hospitalization".

Seriously ill COVID-19 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine or the closely-related drug chloroquine were more likely to die or develop unsafe arrhythmia, namely irregular heart rhythms that can lead to sudden cardiac death, it concluded.

Yet Trump has made clear that, at least when it comes to hydroxychloroquine, he has prioritized anecdotal evidence, including a letter he told reporters he'd received from a doctor in Westchester, New York, claiming success with the drug.

On April 24, the Food and Drug Administration cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine "outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems". But its clinical trials for coronavirus have not been recommended. 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.

His study looked at almost 15,000 people with COVID-19 getting one of the malaria drugs with or without one of the suggested antibiotics and more than 81,000 patients getting none of those medications.

"So that's what we do all day long in our clinical care patients ... we balance the risk of the drug, of the therapy, with the benefit".

Those patients were compared to 81,000 patients who had Covid-19 but did not receive the drugs.

The death rate among all groups taking the drugs was higher than among people who were not given them. 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.

Earlier this week it was announced that a trial to see whether the drugs could prevent Covid-19 had begun in Brighton and Oxford.

And those given each drug in combination with antibiotics were even more likely to die: 22.8 per cent with chloroquine and 23.8 per cent with hydroxychloroquine.

After taking into account many factors, including age, race, gender and basic health conditions, the risk of mortality among patients taking hydroxychloroquine increased by 34%, and the risk of serious heart arrhythmia - by 137%. "They were very old, nearly dead", Trump told reporters Tuesday.

Britain has ordered $42 million worth of hydroxychloroquine, despite numerous studies showing it is ineffective in treating Covid-19 and may even be more risky than doing nothing. "These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs". "I wish I had this information from the beginning", he said, "since there has potentially been harm to the patients".

Hydroxychloroquine has been widely used in America for the treatment of malaria, lupus and some other diseases upon prescription for more than six decades, however its utility for the treatment of coronavirus is at best unproven.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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