French scientists have successfully tested the cure for COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine, which is used as an apparatus for malaria, in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin has been shown to be highly effective against a new type of virus. However, it is unambiguous to consider the drug acting against COVID-19 prematurely, according to a study by scientists from the University Hospital of Marseille, published in the journal International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
Hydroxychloroquine or plaquenil is a drug that moderately suppresses the human immune system and has an anti-inflammatory effect in autoimmune diseases. Now it is used to treat malaria, but scientists still do not fully understand the mechanism of its action – it is assumed that it is able to change the activity of a number of enzymes, but how exactly this happens is not clear.
In a new study, scientists decided to check whether the drug will help in the fight against a new type of coronavirus. The trial involved 42 patients who were diagnosed with the virus.
Within ten days, 26 of them received three doses of 200 mg each of hydroxychloroquine sulfate. Six more people received the drug in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, and 16 patients were included in the control group.
Six days later, in the first group, 70% of patients recovered; in the second, all six test participants recovered. At the same time, in the control group, the number of recovered amounted to all 12.5%.
However, a small sample and the lack of double-blind testing do not allow an unambiguous conclusion about the effectiveness of this treatment method. In addition, hydroxychloroquine can lead to arrhythmias and even sudden cardiac arrest – therefore, only patients who have no problems with the cardiovascular system can take it.