French researchers have found the highly publicized anti-malarial medicine that has been touted as a cure for coronavirus has no benefits to treating the disease, the South China Morning Post reports.
"These results do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalized for documented Sars-CoV-2-positive hypoxic pneumonia," the authors of the non-peer reviewed study wrote Tuesday.
The team looked at medical records of coronavirus patients with lung infections. Some of the patients received hydroxychloroquine, while others did not.
Within a week, about 20% of the patients who took hydroxychloroquine were placed in intensive care or died.
That is compared 22.1% of patients who did not take hydroxychloroquine who were also placed into intensive care or died within the same period.
The researchers also found 10% of patients who took hydroxychloroquine developed abnormal heartbeats that forced them to discontinue usage of the drug.
The researchers claim the patients in their study more accurately reflect the patients who have been admitted to hospitals around the globe during the coronavirus pandemic than those in past studies.
For example, the well-publicized Wuhan trial, only used patients with mild symptoms, indicating they had a high chance for recovery with very little treatment.
"In conclusion, we found that hydroxychloroquine did not significantly reduce admission to ICU or death at day seven after hospital admission, or acute respiratory distress syndrome in hospitalized patients with hypoxemic pneumonia due to COVID-19," the authors wrote.
They added: "These results are of major importance and do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalized for a documented Sars-CoV-2 pneumonia."
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