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New Chinese study shows Hydroxychloroquine does not speed up COVID-19 recovery

Published on 16/04/20 at 11:38am
Photo by Joegoauk Goa

The anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not speed up recovery from COVID-19, according to a new Chinese study.

The study was conducted by doctors across China, including Wuhan and Hubei, and tested 75 COVID-19 patients in hospitals and compared their illnesses to 75 patients who did not receive the drug. These patients received the medication for two or three weeks depending on how severe their symptoms were.

The research team was led by Wei Tan from Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai. In their report, the team outlined how the “overall 28-day negative conversion rate was not different between hydroxychloroquine and standard care groups.”

85.4% of people taking the drug tested negative after four weeks compared to 81.3% of those without the drug. The scientists did acknowledge that hydroxychloroquine does appear to make COVID-19 symptoms milder.

This study follows one in Brazil, which saw 81 coronavirus patients take the drug, with 11 fatalities. Patients who took a higher dose of the treatment began suffering heart arrhythmias.

The drug has become more prominent after President Donald Trump suggested it could be one of the “biggest game changers in the history of medicine” and people have “nothing to lose” by taking it as a COVID-19 treatment. These latest studies cast doubt on both the safety and benefit of the treatment.

Conor Kavanagh

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