Could a drug developed for malaria, be used to combat the coronavirus? That is what a new study in China seems to conclude. The study results come from an experiment which tested a total of 62 participants, all of whom tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 62 participants, 31 of them received the drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and every patient said they received improvements in their cough, fever and pneumonia. Reports of Hydroxychloroquine being an effective agent in killing the coronavirus, came out as early as March 9, in Forbes magazine. HCQ is sold under the brand name Plaquenil and is also used to treat arthritis. French physicians have also conducted a wildly successful clinical trial and are hoping to see similar results from other physician trials across the globe.
In the French physician trial, a total of 36 patients were tested and given 600mg of Plaquenil every day. After the sixth day of observing and monitoring the virus, researchers noticed that 70% of patients tested negative for corona. The results proved even more fruitful when Plaquenil was combined with the antibody azithromycin. In a separate experiment all six participants who tested positive for corona, when given both HCQ and azithromycin, tested negative for the virus within a week.
Given the reason that there is no better option in the present, physicians of the China case study, believe it should be a practice to apply HCQ to coronavirus patients, within limited management. Numerous other factors/experiments were observed to see the effectiveness of HCQ against COVID-19. Not one experiment contradicted any of the physician’s beliefs. In a controlled survey with 80 participants, who were taking HCQ orally, to treat Systemic Lupus erythematosus, not one participant contracted COVID-19. The leading physicians of this study also claimed that of the 178 patients that tested positive for corona pneumonia in their hospital, not one was given HCQ treatment before infection.
While a relatively low sample size, many physicians across the world are excited that HCQ could potentially be the vaccine to COVID-19. Test results and experiments only seem to reinforce their beliefs, and if HCQ continues to test well among larger sample sizes, expect there to be a huge demand for Plaquenil.