A new study has shown that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which was considered a possible cure for coronavirus, is not only ineffective in treating the disease, but may also be associated with increased mortality rates.
In early April, U.S. President Donald Trump said the drug could “make a difference” for those infected with coronavirus.
However, this week the Office of Veterans and a group of scientists presented a study based on a study of 381 male patients, according to which patients who received hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with antibiotic azithromycin, carried the disease more severely than those who were not given these drugs. Among the study participants, 97 received hydroxychloroquine, 113 more received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, and 153 received none of these drugs.
The study found that 27 per cent of patients who had taken hydroxychloroquine died, as did 22 per cent of those who had taken both drugs, while among those who had not been given either of these drugs, the death rate was 11.4 per cent.
However, the results were based only on observations of patient treatment and not on a clinical trial with random sampling of patients and placebo use, which was considered the scientific standard for determining the efficacy of the drugs. In addition, the study had not been evaluated by other scientists and had not been published in scientific journals.
Experts from the University of Virginia, the University of South Carolina and the Office of Veterans Affairs in Colombia, South Carolina, participated in the study.
There is currently no cure or vaccine for coronavirus, which has already claimed the lives of 178,000 people worldwide, including 45,000 in the United States. There are about 40 studies underway to produce the vaccine, but it could take a year or more.