An anti-malaria drug that President Donald Trump has called a “game changer” in combating coronavirus may alleviate symptoms, but it won’t cure the virus, according to a small study awaiting peer review.
The study tested 150 COVID-19 patients across 16 medical centers in China. The results indicate hydroxychloroquine relieved symptoms caused by the virus, but didn't rid patients of the disease.
“When testing new treatments, we are looking for signals that show that they might be effective before proceeding to larger studies,” Allen Cheng, an infectious disease physician and a professor of epidemiology at Melbourne’s Monash University told Bloomberg. “This study doesn’t show any signal, so it is probably unlikely that it will be of clinical benefit.”
The study states some patients who took the drug experienced side effects, mostly mild, including diarrhea.
The researchers, led by Wei Tang of Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai, wrote that the medicine’s anti-inflammatory effects are likely what helped relieve symptoms patients were experiencing.
There are other studies of the drug currently underway.
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