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Hydroxychloroquine not effective for COVID-19 treatment: Study

As per the findings, the scientists stated that there was no evidence that the use of Hydroxychloroquine reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation or improved mortality in hospitalized patients.

Apr 23, 2020 16:52 IST
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Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug is not as effective for the treatment of COVID-19, as per the study. US President Donald Trump defined this drug as a game-changer in an ongoing pandemic.

This yet to be a peer-reviewed study which was published in the preprint server medRxiv, made an analysis of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in all the Veterans Health Administration medical Centres in the US.

The published study by the scientists, including those from the University of South California, US has raised concern about the drug’s widespread usage by many countries across the world against COVID-19.

How the study was done?

As per the researchers, based on anecdotal evidence, Hydroxychloroquine is used alone or in combination with azithromycin for COVID-19 therapy.

In the study, scientists assessed data on patients who have been confirmed with COVID-19 infection and have been hospitalized in all the Veterans Health Administration medical Centres in the US until April 11.

368 patients were categorized based on their exposure to Hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with azithromycin and in addition to the supportive management of COVID-19 treatment.

The outcome of the study:

The two primary outcomes in the study were the need for mechanical ventilation and death.

As per the findings, the scientists stated that there was no evidence that the use of Hydroxychloroquine reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation or improved mortality in hospitalized patients. They also stated that the variation in baseline characteristics of the patients across three groups was taken into account.

Researchers mentioned that although more informative evidence can be expected from ongoing controlled, randomized studies about Hydroxychloroquine in the coming months, the outcomes in the study represent the best available data.

Limitations of Research:

Some limitations of research as mentioned by the scientists were the possibility of selection bias of patients for the study.

The study comprised only men aged above 65 years. It was added that the results may not necessarily be the same in women or in younger patients.

As per the scientists, the findings only suggest a cautious use of Hydroxychloroquine on hospitalized COVID-19 patients, when using it alone.

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