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Video: WHO Suspends Research On Chloroquine And Hydroxychloroquine
WHO suspends research on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine
A large review found that treatment with these drugs is associated with the risk of death and fatal arrhythmias. But the final decision about these drugs will be made after the completion of the randomized trials or after additional expert decisions.
Photo: Joegoauk Goa
A major international study, published in The Lancet, has shown that COVID-19 treatments 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 has decided to temporarily halt its research on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19.
WHO has commissioned an ad hoc working group to verify the safety information of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
In a study published by The Lancet, scientists collected data on treatment with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (including, in combination with azithromycin) of nearly 15,000 people with COVID-19. More than 80 thousand patients with this infection were the comparison group. The data was collected from 671 hospitals around the world.
Patients treated with different regimens that included chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were more likely to die than control patients. In addition, they were more likely to develop life-threatening arrhythmias. Scientists could not find a positive effect of treatment on the outcome of the disease.
This study is not a definitive verdict on the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19. Its design (observational study) does not establish whether a particular treatment was the cause of death in these patients. The study did not include some important patient groups: for example, those who received treatment in the advanced stages of the disease with severe course. In addition, it remains unknown whether chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can be used to prevent COVID-19.
The definitive answers about the feasibility of these drugs must come from large randomized trials if they are not stopped for safety reasons.
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