Wisconsin woman took hydroxychloroquine for 19 years, still got coronavirus

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.

The Lancet study authors suggested the medicines should not be used to treat Covid-19 outside of clinical trials until those studies confirm their safety and efficacy for Covid-19 patients.

Frontline health workers in the United Kingdom will be given hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug touted by Donald Trump, in a clinical trial to test if the malaria drug prevents coronavirus, the study's organisers said.

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 risky heart problems.

The researchers found that the mortality rate was the highest among those 6,221 patients who received hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide (23.8%), while the treatment of coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine alone in a group comprising 3,016 patients resulted in an 18% death rate.

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.

Kim was left stunned at her diagnosis, saying she thought she was safe because of what Trump has said about the drug.

In fact, as the evidence continues to suggest that hydroxychloroquine may not provide much benefit, and instead might increase the risk of harm to the heart, Mehra says doctors may shift from considering hydroxychloroquine to other drugs being studied as COVID-19 treatments, like remdesivir.

Brazil's health minister on Wednesday recommended using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat even mild COVID-19 cases. People sick enough to be hospitalized with the coronavirus are not the same as healthy people taking the drugs in other situations, so safety can not be assumed from prior use, Mehra said.

As part of the trial, 40,000 healthcare workers from four continents will be given chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, or a placebo.

Despite the recommendations set forth by his own administration, Trump told reporters this week that he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure against COVID-19.

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were developed as anti-malarial drugs, but have since been used to treat arthritis and lupus.

- A 37% increase in risk of death for those given chloroquine, and a 256% increase in risk of serious heart arrhythmias.

At the end of the study period, around one in 11 patients in the control group had died in hospital, they said.

"Several countries have advocated use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, either alone or in combination, as potential treatments for COVID-19", said Frank Ruschitzka, director of the Heart Center at University Hospital Zurich and co-author of the study.

After taking into account age, smoking, various health conditions and other factors that affect survival, researchers estimate that use of the drugs may have contributed to 34% to 45% of the excess risk of death they observed.

More than 96,000 people, all of whom had been hospitalized with COVID-19, were included in the study.

Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor in the school of medicine at the University of Leeds, called for more research but said: "This is potentially a landmark study for Covid-19 therapy".

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