Remember Donald Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine? Study in India backs it as Covid-19 cure

Hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug touted as a magical Covid-19 cure by former US President Donald Trump final 12 months, has been discovered efficient in a prophylactic examine printed in the Journal of The Association of Physicians of India (JAPI) last week.

The examine confirmed that hydroxychloroquine, popularly recognized as HCQ, might forestall SARS-CoV-2 an infection in various levels relying on its dosing routine. The highest prevention fee of 72 per cent was discovered amongst these given hydroxychloroquine over six weeks or an extended period.

The examine mentioned, “[W]hen adjusted for other risk factors, HCQ dose as per government recommendations, 2-3, 4-5, 6 or more weeks reduced the probability of Covid positivity by 34 per cent, 48 per cent and 72 per cent.”

The examine was performed May-September final 12 months when HCQ was nonetheless a part of the Union well being ministry’s suggestion in therapy protocol for Covid-19.

BACK AND FORTH ON HCQ

The examine started in opposition to the backdrop of contesting claims made by authorities and specialists together with Donald Trump and his advisor Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s high infectious illness skilled.

In March 2020, Donald Trump declared that hydroxichloroquine was a “game changer” drug in the combat in opposition to Covid-19. Dr Fauci dismissed the declare citing lack of examine and proof. Despite Fauci’s counter-positioning, Trump continued to be vocal about taking HCQ as prophylactic drug.

Incidentally, the Union well being ministry on June 6 dropped hydroxychloroquine from Covid-19 therapy protocol. In its nine-page pointers launched on Sunday (June 6) by the directorate of well being providers, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin and favipiravir discover no point out.

The authorities’s determination got here on the again of criticism by specialists who identified an absence of study-based proof to suggest hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 circumstances. The authorities’s revised pointers, nevertheless, contradicts the suggestions made by the Indian Council of Medical Research as launched on May 17.

The ICMR pointers prescribed using hydroxychloroquine in gentle circumstances of Covid-19.

WHY THIS STUDY MATTERS

The authors of this prophylactic (referring to prevention of a illness) examine mentioned that this “is the largest multicenter study on HCQ prophylaxis on HCWs (healthcare workers), covering over 12,000 HCWs at the risk of Covid-19”.

The examine was performed in May-September final 12 months throughout 44 hospitals in 17 states involving lots of of docs, who acquired doses of hydroxychloroquine.

HERE’S WHAT A RESEARCHER SAID

One of the co-authors of the examine, Dr Raj Kamal Choudhry mentioned, “In the 1985-86 edition of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine [a highly recommended book for students studying medicine in medical colleges], Dr Fauci wrote that HCQ worked an anti-viral agent despite being an anti-malarial drug. There was no Covid-19 back then. HCQ’s anti-viral properties were known.”

Dr Raj Kamal Choudhry, who was the nodal officer for the prophylaxis examine of HCQ in Bihar’s Bhagalpur medical school, mentioned, “We had given about 2,700 doctors and paramedical staff, laundry and kitchen people the prophylaxis of HCQs in the dose of HCQs 400 mg 1×2 for first day then 1 tab daily for 4 days.”

“We did not give to those who had palpitations and had QT prolongation [a measure of heart ailment]. Those who took this drug did not have Covid excepting 5 and 6. The effect was tremendous. Later, we gave this drug to all who had mild cases. Only those patients who were in ICU were not given.”

“Of 2,700 people who were given HCQs, 700 were doctors. Only five or six got infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Bhagalpur but none developed serious complications, and nobody died of Covid-19,” Dr Raj Kamal Choudhry instructed Indiatoday.in.

Incidentally, Donald Trump, who examined constructive for Covid-19 in October, recovered quick from the coronavirus an infection with out exhibiting any critical complication.

WHAT THE RESEARCHERS RECOMMEND

In their conclusion, the researchers mentioned, “HCQ is effective in reducing risk of Covid-19, at 800 mg loading and 400 mg weekly dose with more than 2 weeks dosing.”

They mentioned the HCQ was “well tolerated” among the many contributors. As coverage implications of the examine, the authors mentioned, “Vaccine has its own limitations, and therefore an alternative strategy of prophylaxis such as HCQ is important, especially in low resource settings.”

The end result of the examine is critical provided that India is dealing with acute scarcity of vaccine doses, and it continues to be more likely to take a number of months earlier than availability of vaccines improves in the nation. However, the choice on who may very well be suggested to go for HCQ prophylaxis would require a relook by the Union well being ministry and the ICMR.

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