One of the most awaited studies on the use of hydroxychloroquine to combat covid-19 was released yesterday (3rd) in the United States by The New York Times. The conclusion the authors reached is that the drug is not effective against the new coronavirus.
Led by researchers from the University of Minnesota, the controlled clinical trial included the participation of 821 American and Canadian patients, including health professionals and people who were exposed, at home, to infected by Sars-CoV-2. The objective was to verify if the medicine prevents the disease.
Part of the volunteers received chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, traditionally used in treatments against malaria and lupus, among other diseases, while the others received a placebo. Among those who took the substances, 11.8% developed covid-19 symptoms, compared to 14.3% of those treated with placebo.
According to the scientists, this difference is negligible, as hydroxychloroquine and placebo had virtually the same result. “Our data is pretty clear that, for post-exposure, it doesn’t really work,” commented physician and lead author of the study, David Boulware.
The University of Minnesota study on hydroxychloroquine also revealed that the drug caused side effects in 40% of the participants, who mentioned nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain, among other conditions, which the researchers called “non-serious”. Regarding heart complications, one of the biggest concerns of experts who are against the use of the drug, the study found no evidence of the problem.
Commenting on the survey results, Boulware said he was disappointed that chloroquine did not prevent covid-19, but at the same time pleased that his team “was able to provide a conclusive answer” on this issue.