Hydroxychloroquine linked to increase in COVID-19 deaths, heart risks

A bottle and pills of Hydroxychloroquine. US President Donald Trump announced May 18 he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for almost two weeks as a preventative measure against COVID-19.

Enlarge / A bottle and
pills of Hydroxychloroquine. US President Donald Trump announced
May 18 he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for almost two weeks
as a preventative measure against COVID-19. (credit:
GettyGeorge Frey
)

Two closely related anti-malarial drugs championed by President
Donald Trump as promising treatments for COVID-19 appear to
substantially increase the risks of death and heart complications
in patients hospitalized from the disease.

That’s according to the largest study
yet on the topic,
which involved more than 96,000 hospitalized
COVID-19 patients on six continents. The peer-reviewed study,
appearing Friday in The Lancet, was led by Mandeep Mehra, a
professor of medicine at Harvard.

The drugs studied included chloroquine and its analogue
hydroxychloroquine, which are used to treat autoimmune diseases
such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as malaria. Early
laboratory work suggested that they also have potent anti-viral
properties. But small clinical studies looking into potential
benefits for COVID-19 patients have largely provided mixed and
inconclusive results to this point.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Hydroxychloroquine linked to increase in COVID-19 deaths,
heart risks