Recently published study investigating the outcomes of Coronavirus patients administered hydroxychloroquine, an antiviral drug massively touted by US President Donald Trump, has concluded that the medicine is ineffective in treating COVID-19.
Titled “Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with COVID-19,” evaluated 368 Coronavirus patients that were treated with the antiviral drug along with or without azithromycin. This is by far the most comprehensive study conducted to ascertain the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine.
The study states that 28% of patients treated with only hydroxychloroquine died while 22% of patients treated with hydroxychloroquine along with azithromycin died as well. Whereas, only 11% of the patients who received routine care died.
Researchers also found that the vital organs of the patients who died after receiving hydroxychloroquine with or without azithromycin were severely damaged in comparison to patients who died while receiving routine care.
Hydroxychloroquine has long been known for its adverse side-effects such as nausea, headache, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, and blurred vision. In extreme situations, the antiviral drug results in a fast or irregular heartbeat, leading ultimately to death.
Last week, clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of chloroquine, an antiviral drug similar to hydroxychloroquine in properties, in Brazil was halted after 11 patients involved in the trial died due to arrhythmia, a complication in which the heart either beats too quickly or too slowly.
Although both of these drugs are closely related to each other, hydroxychloroquine is the one that has been used widely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the catastrophic outcomes of 2 studies, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued updated guidelines on the usage of hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin for treating COVID-19 patients. The new guideline advises healthcare practitioners against the use of these three antiviral drugs.
Yesterday, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, briefed the media that federal government is sending 5 million chloroquine tablets to the United Kingdom, 1 million to Saudi Arabia and the United States each, 500,000 to Turkey and Italy each, 700,000 to Kazakhstan, and 300,000 to Qatar.
The government must heed NIH’s guideline in light of the 2 studies and reconsider its decision to export the antiviral drug.
Via: AP News