Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that was initially thought to be the ultimate cure for coronavirus has recently come in to spotlight again. Although the drug was found to provide no benefits and instead cause other health complications, new research from Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan states otherwise.
More specifically, the study, which appears in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, found that prescribing hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus during the early stages of the disease cuts the risk of death to a big extent.
The findings further suggest that the prescription of the anti-malarial drug alone had a sixty-six percent hazard ratio reduction while the administration of hydroxychloroquine in combination with the broad-spectrum antibiotic, azithromycin, had a seventy-one percent ratio reduction.
In hospitals, patients who received the drug combination had a mortality rate of 18.1 percent. The rate was higher in cases where patients were administered either one of azithromycin or hydroxychloroquine alone as well as in treatments involving neither of the drugs.
The investigators agree that while these show the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin can reduce the risk of death in coronavirus patients, further research with trials is needed.
Prior to this research, various studies along with trials concluded that hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus either worsened the condition of the patient or made no difference.
One of the most important adverse effects noted in trials was that patients who were administered a high dosage of the drug developed heart-related issues including arrhythmia.
The senior author of the study and the head of the hospital’s infectious disease unit, Dr. Marcus Zervos, explained that the difference in the findings of the study may have occurred due to the timing of the prescription of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus.
Read more on progress over coronavirus in the US here.
For hydroxychloroquine to have a benefit, it needs to begin before the patients begin to suffer some of the severe immune reactions that patients can have with COVID.” Dr. Zervos further added.
The new research was also used by the Trump campaign. A statement from the campaign emphasized how the Trump Administration had managed to secure a good amount of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus, majorly due to President Donald’s Trump suggestion of it being a potential treatment.
The statement also went on to mention that during the time of securing supply, Biden’s campaign had actively worked against the decision and tried to highlight the drug’s negative effects only because it was endorsed by President Trump.
Lastly, the statement ended by saying “The new study from the Henry Ford Health System should be a clear message to the media and the Democrats: stop the bizarre attempts to discredit hydroxychloroquine to satisfy your own anti-Trump agenda. It may be costing lives.”
The findings of the study also caused several media responses from government officials who supported Trump while criticizing the Democrats and the media.
On the other hand, the backlash from the medical community as well as the media continues with prominent health officials specifically highlight how Trump was neglecting the results of various studies and clinical trials and hyping hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus once again by using findings of a preliminary study.
Overall, there is indeed a new for further evidence for the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus as investigators of the new research have themselves suggested.