Over 100 Americans have died after taking hydroxychloroquine in the first half of 2020

pharmafile | August 10, 2020 | News story | Sales and Marketing COVID-19, chloroquine, coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine 

More than 100 Americans have died after taking the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus.

This was found in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal’s review of the FDA’s adverse events reporting system. They found that 293 people had died from taking hydroxychloroquine in the first half of 2020 compared to just 75 in the first half of 2019. Upon further investigation from the Sentinal, it found that 218 of these deaths were from people taking hydroxychloroquine due to coronavirus.

Hydroxychloroquine has been in the public eye since Trump touted it as an effective coronavirus treatment back in March, which led to the US stockpiling the treatment. However, most studies so far have concluded that the benefit from the drug is minimal while the risks of taking it are high. It has led to deaths of COVID-19 patients in multiple clinical trials with the FDA revoking its emergency approval back in June.

There are still some outliars. Last week, Researchers at the University of Oxford have said that hydroxychloroquine could be beneficial to COVID-19 patients, despite this general lack of evidence for its effectiveness.

The Oxford researchers and the Wellcome supported Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) are leading the COPCOV study. This is currently the only global clinical trial testing hydroxcychloroquine in COVID-19 patients as a treatment for the virus. This study contains 40,000 healthcare workers and it is being compared to a placebo.

The researchers are maintaining that previous studies were not large enough to be conclusive while they also believe safety concerns have been exaggerated. They maintain that the drug doesn’t actually increase the risk of heart arrhythmias and say that it can actually reduce the risk of this condition.

Conor Kavanagh

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