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Hydroxychloroquine fails COVID-19 clinical trial in France

Published on 20/04/20 at 10:27am
Felipe Caparros Cruz

The malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine is facing further scrutiny as a coronavirus treatment after failed trials in France.

The most recent clinical studies included 181 patients in four hospitals across France, with all subjects in the trial having developed pneumonia as a result of COVID-19.  84 received hydroxychloroquine while 97 did not.

A summary published by MedRxiv stated that: “We found that HCQ (hydroxychloroquine) treatment at 600 mg per day added to standard of care was not associated with a reduction of admissions to Intensive Care Units or death seven days after hospital admission, compared to standard of care alone.

“Our population of patients hospitalised because they required oxygen is very similar to that reported by others, and the percentage of patients transferred to the ICU was similar to that reported in a Chinese cohort of 138 patients hospitalised for Covid-19 pneumonia.”

The study indicated that the rate of acute respiratory distress syndrome in the patients did not decrease when treated with the drug. Some patients developed irregular heartbeats from taking hydroxychloroquine meaning that the administered dose of the drug had to be stopped.

This follows two other recent studies that also showed that hydroxychloroquine does not have any tangible benefit in treating the COVID-19 coronavirus.  A study in China showed that in a 28 day period there was no difference in the recovery of standard care groups and groups who received the drug. In Brazil, 11 patients died and many began suffering heart arrhythmias when being tested for higher doses of the drug.

Conor Kavanagh

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