Malaria drug fails to prevent COVID-19 in a rigorous study

Malaria drug fails to prevent COVID-19 in a rigorous study

The Solidarity Trial is a WHO-sponsored plan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19, which include hydroxychloroquine.

The WHO announced Wednesday that those trials of the anti-malarial drug would now resume.

The new prevention trial involved about 800 people who had been exposed to someone with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.

Ghebreyesus noted the decision to temporarily suspend the trail was taken as a precaution while the safety data was reviewed.

In April, Canadian health authorities issued a warning against the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Side-effects included nausea and diarrhea, but none of the heart arrythmias reported in the Lancet study.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study on June 3, 2020, that has implications for the position of the Indian Council of Medical Research vis-à-vis the use of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against COVID-19.

While an expression of concern is not as severe as a journal withdrawing a published study, it signifies that the research is potentially problematic. He asked: Should other trials continue unchanged?

"We also see increasing numbers of cases in the Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia, and Africa, although the numbers are much smaller", said Dr Tedros.

The drug did not seem to cause serious harm, though - about 40pc of people on it had side-effects, mostly mild stomach problems.

The World Health Organization, which had last week paused trials when The Lancet study showed the drug was tied to an increased risk of death in hospitalized patients, said on Wednesday it was ready to resume trials.

The high-profile study found almost 12 percent of subjects given the malaria drug developed symptoms compatible with COVID-19 compared with 14 percent who got a placebo.

Of the 821 adult participants (87.6% reported high risk exposure) who were exposed but asymptomatic, 414 were assigned to the hydroxychloroquine arm and 407 to the placebo arm.

Meanwhile, some countries such as India and Brazil have continued their support for hydroxychloroquine and said they would continue to prescribe it despite the discouraging results of various studies. After two weeks, 12% of people taking the drug had an infection, compared to 14% of the placebo group.

Our objective was to answer the question of whether hydroxychloroquine worked to prevent disease or did not work.

The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine it is not effective in preventing patients from contracting the coronavirus, a new study suggests.

The 2.4 percentage points of absolute difference in illness incidence didn't cross the statistical significance threshold, the University of Minnesota-led team said, even though HCQ helped cut the risks of developing the disease by about 17% on a relative basis. There was no further benefit to prevent infection among those who also took zinc or vitamin C.

Scientists acknowledge, though, that studies are being conducted at break-neck speed while garnering unprecedented levels of attention that could give findings unwarranted weight.

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