A study of around 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients across six continents found that those who were treated with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, promoted by President Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the virus, had greater mortality rate or developed fatal heart arrhythmias. Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus as researchers across the world are struggling to find a reliable drug or vaccine to treat COVID-19 disease, US President Donald Trump had touted one anti-viral medicine as “Gift of God”. Even though there were conflicting reports regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients, Trump had not only called it a “game changer" but had also recently claimed that he has been taking the drug.
According to the study published in The Lancet, the researchers had analysed the data received from more than 96,000 patients of coronavirus from at least 671 hospitals across six continents. All patients were studied and compared on the basis of the drug they received within the 48 hours of their diagnosis with COVID-19. The patients, hospitalised bwtween late December and mid-April, had either died or were discharged by April 21.
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Less than 15,000 people were treated with the antimalarial drugs or their combination with an antibiotic. The researchers concluded that at least one in every six patients treated with either hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine alone died. The figures were surprisingly greater when compared to one in 11 patients in the control group. Moreover, at least one in five patients who were injected with chloroquine and macrolide died and one in four treated with hydroxychloroquine along with the antibiotic had died. However, Trump still continues to take doses of hydroxychloroquine. When asked till when he would take the drug, he replied that the "regimen finishes in a day or two".
Read - Trump Defends Taking Hydroxychloroquine As 'line Of Defence' Despite Alleged Health Risks
Study on medical charts of veterans
Meanwhile, another study, based on medical charts of veterans has now revealed that the “primary outcomes” of those treated with hydroxychloroquine had higher death rate or required ventilatory support. Many health professionals had laid their hopes on the much-talked-about emergency drug, hydroxychloroquine. The study by medRxiv analysed the data received from the confirmed patients of coronavirus until April 11 in all US Veterans Health Administration medical centres. The study also said, “In this study, we found no evidence that use of hydroxychloroquine, either with or without azithromycin, reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.”
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