A comprehensive data analysis confirms that the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are probably not suitable for the treatment of Covid-19.
On the contrary, the drugs may increase the death rate and lead to more cardiac arrhythmias, researchers from the USA and Switzerland report in the journal “The Lancet”.
They had evaluated data from a good 96,000 patients, of whom almost 15,000 had received one of the drugs alone or in combination with an antibiotic.
The authors argue that the drugs should only be used in clinical trials and that the benefits should be carefully evaluated. Smaller studies had previously come to similar results.
US President Donald Trump had repeatedly praised chloroquine as a miracle cure. Most recently, he caused a stir by saying that he was taking the drug prophylactically to protect himself from the virus (TAG24 reported).
The hope that the drugs might be suitable for the treatment of Covid-19 has so far only been based on cell experiments and a few smaller studies. Numerous clinical trials are currently being carried out to test the efficacy of the drugs in greater detail.