Sunday, July 5, 2020

New study suggests hydroxychloroquine effective in treating COVID-19

The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. /VCG

The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which was touted by U.S. President Donald Trump, was found effective in treating COVID-19 patients by a new study after many others said no.
The study, led by a research team from Henry Ford Health System in southeast Michigan, U.S., was published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases on July 1.
They looked at 2,541 hospitalized COVID-19 patients between March 10 and May 2 and found that those who took hydroxychloroquine had a "significantly" lower mortality rate.
Patients involved were generally over 18 years old, with a median age of 64. Of those who were treated with hydroxychloroquine alone, 13 percent died, compared with 26.4 percent of those not treated with the drug.
The study also evaluated the role of azithromycin in the treatment of in-patients with COVID-19.
"Overall crude mortality rates were 18.1 percent in the entire cohort, 13.5 percent in the hydroxychloroquine alone group, 20.1 percent among those receiving hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin, 22.4 percent among the azithromycin alone group, and 26.4 percent for neither drug," said the report.
"Our analysis shows that using hydroxychloroquine helped saves lives," said neurosurgeon Steven Kalkanis, CEO of Henry Ford Medical Group in an article from the Detroit-based health system. "The data here is clear that there was benefit to using the drug as a treatment for sick, hospitalized patients."
Dr Marcus Zervos, division head of Infectious Disease for Henry Ford Health System, said the finding have been "highly analyzed and peer-reviewed," and attributed their different findings of the drug from other studies to "early treatment," "a combination of interventions in supportive care of patients," and different dosing.
"Considered in the context of current studies on the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, our results suggest that the drug may have an important role to play in reducing COVID-19 mortality," Zervos said.
In spite of the positive findings, Zervos cautioned that the study results should not be applied to patients treated outside of hospital settings, and further confirmation in prospective, randomized controlled trials is required.

No comments: