Hydroxycloroquine does not help with Covid mortality; Improves ICU risk
Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug often used to treat Covid-19, does not have a noticeable effect on the mortality rate of the coronavirus, according to a study by 14 Dutch hospitals. The drug does, however, have a positive effect on whether a Covid-19 patient will need intensive care, if administered from the first day of hospital admission.
The hospitals analyzed 1,064 Covid-19 patients in 14 hospitals, 189 of whom were treated with hydroxychloroquine, 377 were treated with chloroquine, and 498 were not treated with either of the drugs.
They found that neither hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine had an effect on the mortality rate on the Covid-19 wards. People who did not receive either of the drugs were just as likely to succumb to the disease than people given either hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.
But hydroxychloroquine reduced the risk of a patient needing to be transferred to an ICU by 53 percent. This "protective effect" was not found for chloroquine. "Therefore these drugs cannot be regarded as interchangeable," the researchers said with their study published in Science Direct.
The study was already peer-reviewed and assessed by colleagues. But the researchers stressed that it still needs to be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial, in which comparable patients are divided between a group treated with hydroxychloroquine and one or more control groups.