A few days ago, we reported on scientists using an old anti-malaria drug to treat the coronavirus COVID-19. Now, reports are coming out that the drug might not be the go-to drug for treatment.
At the moment, there have been some studies on whether or not the anti-malaria drug called chloroquine, or hydroxychlorquine + azithromycin can treat COVID-19. Some reports have come out claiming that patients who have used chloroquine have seen positive results in their conditions, some have even claimed that the drug has “cured” them of the virus. President Donald Trump even announced his backing of the drug, saying it should be put in use “immediately“.
Unfortunately, it has now been discovered that the paper the President cited on chloroquine being used on COVID-19 patients had a few missing components to it that would originally be included in a reputable study. Examples of those essential components are a larger sample size of patients, and the fact that several of the patients who received the drug actually had their conditions worsen over time, but that was left out of the end results.
It has also been discovered that chloroquine can have some severe side-effects when combined with other drugs that patients might already be taking. These side-effects could pose a massive health risk to those who have already gone out and begun to self-medicate. The side-effects that could be seen are; blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, cramps, headache, and diarrhea. The US National Library of Medicine has also linked hydroxychloroquine to convulsions and “mental changes“.
Important Coronavirus COVID-19 Information
Medications: It has also been found that these medications can aggravate coronavirus cases, more on that can be found here.
How long it stays on surfaces: Researchers have also discovered how long the coronavirus stays on surfaces, find out more here.
How it makes you sick: Scientists have figured out exactly how the coronavirus COVID-19 makes you sick, find out how here.
The human body fight: Developing research has been able to pinpoint exactly how the human body fights off coronavirus COVID-19, more can be found here.
Last updated: Mar 24, 2020 at 07:20 pm CDT
WHO resumes hydroxychloroquine trial on Covid-19 patients – ITIJ
On May 25, WHO suspended the trial of the drug, which is usually used to treat malaria patients, after a study published in medical journal The Lancet found that Covid-19 hospitalised patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher risk of death, as well as an increased frequency of irregular heartbeats, than those who weren’t treated with it.
However, WHO officials have since asserted that there is no evidence that the drug reduces the mortality in these patients, and the study has since been retracted over data concerns.
“The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference 3 June, adding that WHO planned to continue to monitor the safety of the therapeutics being tested in trials involving over 3,500 patients spanning over 35 countries.
“WHO is committed to accelerating the development of effective therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics as part of our commitment to serving the world with science, solutions and solidarity,” Ghebreyesus said.
'Truly sorry': Scientists pull panned Lancet study of Trump-touted drug – National Post
NEW YORK/LONDON — An influential study that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients has been withdrawn a week after it led to major trials being halted, adding to confusion about a malaria drug championed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Lancet medical journal pulled the study after three of its authors retracted it, citing concerns about the quality and veracity of data in it. The World Health Organization (WHO) will resume its hydroxychloroquine trials after pausing them in the wake of the study. Dozens of other trials have resumed or are in process.
The three authors said Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the dataset for an independent review and they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”
The fourth author of the study, Dr. Sapan Desai, chief executive of Surgisphere, declined to comment on the retraction.
The Lancet said it “takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously” adding: “There are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study.”
Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that used Surgisphere data and shared the same lead author, Harvard Medical School Professor Mandeep Mehra, was retracted for the same reason.
The Lancet said reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations were urgently needed.
The race to understand and treat the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of research and peer-reviewed scientific journals are go-to sources of information for doctors, policymakers and lay people alike.
Chris Chambers, a professor of psychology and an expert at the UK Center for Open Science, said The Lancet and the NEJM – which he described as “ostensibly two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals” – should investigate how the studies got through peer review and editorial checks.
“The failure to resolve such basic concerns about the data” raises “serious questions about the standard of editing” and about the process of peer review, he said.
The Lancet did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The NEJM could not immediately be reached for comment.
The observational study published in The Lancet on May 22 said it looked at 96,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, some treated with the decades-old malaria drug. It claimed that those treated with hydroxychloroquine or the related chloroquine had higher risk of death and heart rhythm problems than patients who were not given the medicines.
“I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use,” the study’s lead author, Professor Mehra, said in a statement. “For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry.”
Many scientists voiced concern about the study, which had already been corrected last week because some location data was wrong. Nearly 150 doctors signed an open letter to The Lancet calling the article’s conclusions into question and asking to make public the peer review comments that preceded publication.
Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said the retraction decision was “correct” but still left unanswered the question about whether hydroxychloroquine is effective in COVID-19.
“It remains the case that the results from randomized trials are necessary to draw reliable conclusions,” he said. (Reporting by Michael Erman, Peter Henderson, Kate Kelland and Josephine Mason Editing by Leslie Adler, Tom Brown, Giles Elgood and Carmel Crimmins)
Possible link between more overdoses and pandemic isolation: Guelph health officials – CTV News
The number of suspect overdose deaths in Guelph since the outbreak of COVID-19 has already surpassed the number of deaths in all of 2019.
Health officials say isolation could be a contributing factor, as staff at the consumption treatment centre have seen about half of the regular users during the time of the pandemic.
“From mid March until just the end of May we’ve seen eight deaths,” said Raechelle Devereaux, executive director of the Guelph Community Health Centre.
In 2018, there were seven overdose deaths in Guelph.
Jade McAfee uses the CTS site and say she’s lost a lot of friends to overdoses.
“It is scary,” she said. “I myself have overdosed 13 times.”
While officials say a toxic supply is to blame for overdoses, the COVID-19 pandemic has added a hurdle when it comes to prevention.
“The same things that are keeping people safe during the pandemic like isolating and staying home are some things that work against us,” said Devereaux.
Registered nurse Danielle Castledine supervises injections and says they would normally see 30 people a day before the pandemic.
“Before we had an intermediate space where people could be before and after,” she said. “So even if they were waiting they were waiting with peer workers and nurses and social workers.”
To help with better spacing, they’ve opened a new booth to decrease wait times and encourage more people to use the services.
“[Before the crisis] you didn’t have to have a mask, get stopped, have your temperature taken when you could blow in and out easily,” said Eric Cunningham, a user of the CTS site.
Staff say the lack of foot traffic at the CTS is a bad sign and worry the alternative is using in isolation, which decreases the likelihood of potentially life-saving intervention.
“It’s better for anybody to not do it alone,” said McAfee.
The health centre says between March 17 and May 30 there were 63 overdoses.
In the same time period last year there were 74, but only one overdose death.
The Guelph Community Health Centre says the team is door knocking at vulnerable apartment and shelters to give more information on harm reduction to help those potential using alone.
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