Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19: Analyzing Mortality Risks in New Study

Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19: Analyzing Mortality Risks in New Study

Mar, 22 2024

Written by : Caspian Fairhaven

A comprehensive study recently published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy has cast significant doubt on the safety of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, a stance once emphatically supported by former President Donald Trump. This antimalarial drug, in the spotlight during the early days of the pandemic, has been linked to an increased risk of mortality among COVID-19 patients, according to the research findings.

The study meticulously analyzed data from 44 cohort studies and pinpointed an 11% heightened risk of death for COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine compared to those who did not receive the drug. This result encapsulates the outcomes of approximately 16,990 patients across six countries, including the United States, illuminating the global impact of this medication's use during the pandemic.

Initially hailed as a potential breakthrough in the fight against the novel coronavirus, hydroxychloroquine's popularity surged after former President Trump publicly endorsed it. However, as the pandemic progressed, the scientific community began to voice concerns regarding its efficacy and safety for treating COVID-19, concerns that this study further validates.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had previously issued warnings about the potential side effects of hydroxychloroquine, notably abnormal heart rhythms and other serious cardiac issues. Despite these warnings, the drug saw widespread use, driven by desperation and the absence of proven treatments in the pandemic's early months. The FDA emphasized that hydroxychloroquine was approved solely for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, without solid evidence supporting its use against COVID-19.

These findings arrive at a time when former President Trump is facing numerous legal challenges, including 91 outstanding criminal charges and civil lawsuits spanning various controversies. Despite these legal battles, Trump has emerged as a leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, a testament to his enduring influence within the party. The study underscores the complexities and missteps in the global response to COVID-19, particularly in the realm of treatment strategies. It invites a reflection on the lessons learned from advocating drugs without robust scientific backing and the need for a cautious, evidence-based approach to medical treatment, especially during a health crisis.

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