The researchers said that after considering multiple confounding factors when compared with mortality in the control group, hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine with macrolide, chloroquine, and chloroquine with a macrolide were "independently associated with an increased risk of de-novo ventricular arrhythmia during hospitalization". Now, a new study published Friday in The lancet provides extensive evidence of the harm that the use of hydroxychloroquine can have in therapy with COVID-19.
White House doctor Dr. Sean Conley published a note on Monday stating that after discussing the pros and cons of hydroxychloroquine, he and Trump came to the conclusion that the potential benefit of the drug over the relative risks of using it.
The findings: Those given the drug alone had a 34% increased risk of dying and a 137% increased risk of heart arrhythmias.
According to health experts, Hydroxychloroquine can be recommended for malaria and conditions such as lupus or arthritis.
"Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should therefore no longer be used for Covid-19 before we have the results of further, now ongoing randomised clinical studies". One might also question whether the resources necessary for large studies might be better diverted to other causes, at the same time allowing the drugs themselves to be used for their original goal. Almost 15,000 patients were treated with one of the following: chloroquine (which is an older version of hydroxychloroquine), hydroxychloroquine, or either of those drugs in combination with an antibiotic.
Those studies have led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to warn health providers that they should not prescribe hydroxychloroquine off-label for COVID-19 patients unless they are part of a research study or carefully monitored in a hospital setting.
Those treated with hydroxychloroquine, or it in combination with the antibiotic, had a slightly higher mortality rate than those treated with chloroquine.
However, the researchers cautioned that because this was an observational study and not a randomized control trial, which is the gold standard of medical research, they could not rule out the possibility that other factors that hadn't been measured were responsible for the increased deaths.
The death rate among all groups taking the drugs was higher than among people who were not given them.
A CNN report stated that the researchers analysed data of over 96,000 COVID-19 from 671 hospitals. There was also a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of heart arrhythmias for those given the drug with and an additional antibiotic.
"We now know from our study that the chance that these medications improve outcomes in Covid-19 is quite low".
Earlier this week it was announced that a trial to see whether the drugs could prevent Covid-19 had begun in Brighton and Oxford.
Mr Trump says he has not tested positive for Covid-19 and is taking the drug because he thinks it has "positive benefits".
The study is among the largest that have been conducted regarding the effectiveness of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19.