Antimalarial Drug is Linked to Increased Risk of Death in Coronavirus Patients
A study is warning against its use
A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus (COVID-19) patients on six continents found that those who received an antimalarial drug promoted by President Donald Trump as a game changer in the fight against the virus had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not.
People treated with hydroxychloroquine, or the closely related drug chloroquine, were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can lead to sudden cardiac death, it concluded.
The study, published Friday in the medical journal the Lancet, is the largest analysis to date of the risks and benefits of treating COVID-19 patients with antimalarial drugs. It is based on a retrospective analysis of medical records, not a controlled study in which patients are divided randomly into treatment groups — a method considered the gold standard of medicine. But the sheer size of the study was convincing to some scientists.
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