Jun 30, 2020
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WHO suspended studies of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine

A major review showed that treatment with these drugs is associated with a risk of death and fatal arrhythmias. But the final decision on these drugs will be made after the completion of randomized trials or after additional expert decisions.

A major international study published in a journal Lancet, showed that treatment with COVID-19 with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can be dangerous. Scientists have not found a positive effect of treatment on the course of the disease. In this regard, the World Health Organization decided to temporarily stop its studies of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine with COVID-19.

WHO requested that a special working group verify the safety information of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

In a study that published Lancet, scientists have collected data on treatment with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (including, in combination with azithromycin) of almost 15 thousand people with COVID-19. More than 80 thousand patients with this infection were a comparison group. Data was collected at 671 hospitals around the world.

Patients who received treatment according to various schemes, including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, were more likely to die than patients from the control group. In addition, they often developed life-threatening arrhythmias. Scientists could not detect the positive effect of treatment on the outcome of the disease.

This study cannot be called the final sentence for the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19-nineteen. Its design (observational study) does not allow to establish whether a certain treatment caused the death of these patients. The study did not include some important groups of patients: for example, those who received treatment in the late stages of the disease in severe cases. In addition, it remains unknown whether chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can be used for prevention COVID-19-nineteen.

Large randomized trials should give definitive answers about the potential use of these drugs if they are not stopped for safety reasons.

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