Brazilian study finds hydroxychloroquine is not effective at treating COVID-19

pharmafile | July 24, 2020 | News story | Medical Communications COVID-19, coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine, pandemic 

Another study has shown hydroxychloroquine is ineffective in treating the coronavirus.

The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and found that the drug did not improve the conditions of the patients who participated. It involved 667 people across 55 hospitals in Brazil. The trial contained three groups, patients who took hydroxychloroquine, patients who took the drug in combination with azithromycin and another group who took a placebo.

The study found that a seven day course of the drug did not result in better outcomes. The researchers said: “Among patients hospitalized with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, the use of hydroxychloroquine, alone or with azithromycin, did not improve clinical status at 15 days as compared with standard care. The trial cannot definitively rule out either a substantial benefit of the trial drugs or a substantial harm.”

The initial evidence that pointed to hydroxychloroquine working as a coronavirus treatment came from France, with Professor Didier Raoult’s study of 36 people. Raoult said he cured 100% of the patients but left out that six dropped out after the first six days and they either died or were transferred to the ICU or couldn’t tolerate the drug.

The World Health Organization has discontinued their own trials into the viability of hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and ritonavir as COVID-19 treatments. This follows the National Institute of Health stopping its own trials into hydroxychloroquine last month in non-hospitalised patients, stating it was be unlikely to be beneficial to coronavirus patients. The FDA also revoked its emergency approval of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine due to health risks and a lack of effectiveness in treating COVID-19.

Conor Kavanagh

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