Malaria Drug Chloroquine No Better Than Regular Coronavirus Care, Study Finds - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Results from a small Chinese study published by the Journal of Zhejiang University indicate that hydroxychloroquine was not significantly more effective than conventional care for COVID-19, reported Bloomberg.

  • The 30-patient study showed that of the 15 patients given the antimalarial, 13 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 after a week of treatment, while among the 15 patients who did not get the drug and were treated with conventional care, 14 tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

  • According to the news source, conventional care includes bed rest, oxgen inhalation, and the use of antiviral drugs recommended in China's treatment guidelines like lopinavir and ritonavir, and antibiotics when necessary.

  • One patient treated with hydroxychloroquine progressed to severe disease during the study, while four patients given the medicine developed diarrhea and signs of potential liver damage, compared with three getting conventional treatment.

  • The news source noted that hydroxychloroquine, particularly when given with the antibiotic azithromycin, has received widespread attention following a controversial, small study of about 40 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in France.

  • In that trial, the drug appeared to help clear the virus from the bodies of 26 patients who were given the medication, based on samples taken from nasal swabs, although experts have criticized the design of the study.

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