A new study published in the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal estimates that the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 was associated with nearly 17,000 deaths in six countries during the first wave of the pandemic.

I n the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was hailed as a potential miracle cure. The drug, which is used to treat malaria and lupus, was shown to have antiviral properties in laboratory studies. However, subsequent clinical trials found that hydroxychloroquine was not effective in treating COVID-19 and may actually be harmful.

The Study

The new study by researchers at the University Hospital of Lyon analysed data from six countries: France, the United States, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. The researchers found that patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had an 11% higher risk of death than those who were not treated with the drug.

“Hydroxychloroquine was prescribed in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 despite of the low-level evidence.
“Subsequently, HCQ use was associated with an 11% increase in the mortality rate in a meta-analysis of randomized trials.”



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