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News > U.S.

Study Confirms Chloroquine's Ineffectiveness in Facing COVID-19

  • Hydroxychloroquine pills

    Hydroxychloroquine pills

Published 4 June 2020
Opinion

Canadian and U.S. experts conducted the research on the effectiveness of this treatment against the COVID-19 virus. 

The U.S.' New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday affirmed hydroxychloroquine does not prevent COVID-19, as their study found that exposed subjects contracted the virus. Canadian and U.S. experts conducted the research. 

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“After high-risk or moderate-risk exposure to COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine did not prevent illness compatible with COVID-19 or confirmed infection when used as postexposure prophylaxis within 4 days after exposure,” the study concluded.

According to the research methodology, the experts conducted randomized-controlled clinic trials on 821 adults with different virus exposure levels and high risk of contracting the disease.  They received both placebo and hydroxychloroquine.

The selected subjects were vulnerable to the virus after being closer than 2 meters from an infected co-worker or relative, with no biosecurity equipment or protective accessories. The study's premise was to confirm if the drug could serve as post-exposure pharmaceutical protection. 


After five days of taking the pills of high doses, 107 subjects developed COVID-19 symptoms. Of the drug-testing group, 49 showed the virus signs while 58 under the dummy pills treatment also were suspected of being sick. Two had to receive medical assistance and there were no casualties. Experts do not consider the difference as significant. 

“While we had hoped this drug would work in this context, our study demonstrates that hydroxychloroquine is no better than placebo when used as post-exposure prophylaxis within four days of exposure to someone infected with the new coronavirus,” said one of the researchers Dr. Todd Lee.

As the study concluded, subjects under hydroxychloroquine treatment tend to suffer from nausea and stomach pain. In contrast with other clinic trials, they did not show severe reactions or heart rhythm disturbances.

“Our study’s results set politics aside and provide unbiased evidence to guide practice in the prevention of COVID-19 and reinforce the importance of randomized clinical trials as we work together nationally and internationally to combat the novel coronavirus,’’ said an associate professor of internal medicine at the Canadian University of Manitoba, Dr. Ryan Zarychanski.

U.S. president, Donald Trump, endorsed hydroxychloroquine as an effective drug against COVID-19 with no scientific argument. The World Health Organization recommended not using the drug after clinical results on its undesirable side effects. 

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