Anti-malaria drug taken by Trump linked to coronavirus death risk

The analysis included data from 671 hospitals across six continents, which pooled together resulted in 96,032 patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized between December 2019 and April 2020.

Arrhythmia's greatest risk was in the group who received hydroxychloroquine and a macrolide antibiotic such as azithromycin (8% versus 0.3% of controls), and this regimen was associated with a more than five-fold risk of developing an arrhythmia while hospitalized, though cause and effect can not be inferred, the group noted.

Again, that can only come from randomized controlled studies.Hydroxychloroquine use spiked dramatically after the drug was embraced by President Trump, who on Monday said that he himself was taking the drug, and commentators on Fox News.

Concerns raised in other recent studies of hydroxychloroquine led the US Food and Drug Administration to issue a safety warning about its use as a treatment for coronavirus last month, warning that it could cause unsafe heart problems.

A Wisconsin woman has taken the unproven coronavirus drug hydroxychloroquine for almost two decades for another health condition - and says she was still infected by the virus, according to a report.

It comes just days after the USA president's decision to take hydroxychloroquine was described as "a staggering, irresponsible act that could very well also amount to self-harm" and there are fears his actions risk running down supplies of the drug for people with other conditions who need it.

'The best way to find out if they are effective in preventing Covid-19 is in a randomised clinical trial'.

The results about heart rhythm issues are harder to discount, because they are known side effects of the drugs.

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There was also a control group of patients not given these treatments.

And those given each drug in combination with antibiotics were even more likely to die: 22.8 percent with chloroquine and 23.8 percent with hydroxychloroquine.

Professor White said: "We really do not know if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are beneficial or harmful against COVID-19".

The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously warned against self-medicating with hydroxychloroquine, with the study in the United Kingdom involving front line health workers, carried out in a controlled environment. About 14,000 of which received one of four drug cocktails that included chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine.

The study accounted for several "confounding factors", like, age, sex, race or ethnicity, body-mass index.

If the rate of mortality is 9.3 per cent in the control group, the scientists said, on adjustment for other clinical factors, the rate attributable to the use of the drug regimens would rise to 12.4-13.4 per cent. And a Brazilian study was shut down after two deaths and heart problems among patients who got a high dose of chloroquine.

Kim said she's on the mend now from her battle against the bug - but warns others the drug alone won't protect them from the virus.

The US president still insists that the use of HCQ to fight COVID-19 is a "game changer" and he slammed an earlier non-peer reviewed study that found a link between the use of the antimalaria drug and an increasing number of deaths among corona-stricken veterans. He noted, however, that it is an observational study, rather than a randomized controlled trial, so it shows correlation between the drugs and certain outcomes, rather than a clear cause and effect.

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