Several countries are making use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Coronavirus patients. However, according to a study of hundreds of patients at US Veterans Health Administration medical centers, higher death rates were recorded in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine compared to those who did not take the drug.
The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia released a statement on Tuesday on medrxiv.org, a pre-print server, in which 368 patients were observed.
97 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a 27.8% death rate and 158 patients who did not take the drug had an 11.4% death rate.
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“An association of increased overall mortality was identified in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone. These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs,” wrote the authors, who work at the Columbia VA Health Care System in South Carolina, the University of South Carolina and the University of Virginia.
“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,” the authors wrote.
As a reminder, Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat patients with diseases such as malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Another recent study conducted by researchers in France showed different notes. 181 Covid-19 patients suffering from pneumonia and requiring supplemental oxygen were observed.
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About half had taken hydroxychloroquine within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital, while the rest did not take the drug. no significant difference in the death rates of the two groups was detected.
However, doctors perceived an abnormal heart rhythm among 8 patients who took the drug and had to stop taking it.