Testing of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for Covid-19 patients has been stopped due to safety concerns, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO on Thursday said testing in some countries was “temporarily” halted as a precaution, after research showing that the drug could increase the risk of death of patients from Covid-19, according to the WHO. BBC.
US President Donald Trump once said he was taking medication to prevent the virus. He has repeatedly praised the effects of antimalarial drugs, contrary to medical recommendations and despite warnings from public health officials that the drug could cause heart problems.
Last week, a study in the medical journal The Lancet said there was no benefit in treating corona virus patients with hydroxychloroquine, and that it could even increase the number of deaths.
Hydroxychloroquine is safe for malaria and for conditions like lupus or arthritis, but no clinical trials have recommended the use of drugs to treat Covid-19.
WHO, which is conducting clinical trials of various drugs for the disease caused by the corona virus, has previously expressed concern about the information that people heal themselves and make themselves more vulnerable.
On May 25, officials at the United Nations health agency said hydroxychloroquine would be withdrawn from the trials pending a safety review.
The Lancet study involved 96,000 Covid-19 patients, nearly 15,000 of whom were given hydroxychloroquine – or a related form of chloroquine – with or without antibiotics.
The study found that patients who were given medication were at a higher risk of dying in the hospital and having arrhythmia than other patients in a comparison group.
The mortality rates of the treated groups were: hydroxychloroquine 18%; chloroquine 16.4%; control group 9%. People treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with antibiotics had even higher death rates.
The researchers warn that hydroxychloroquine should not be used in addition to clinical trials.