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WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine trials for coronavirus treatment pending safety review

The World Health Organization said it will temporarily halt global trials of hydroxychloroquine – the malaria drug President Trump said he was recently taking to prevent the coronavirus infection – and chloroquine after a study showed that hospitalized coronavirus patients taking the drugs have a higher mortality rate, Fox News reports.

WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine trials for coronavirus treatment pending safety review

WHO suspends hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine trials for coronavirus treatment pending safety review

STEPANAKERT, MAY 26, ARTSAKHPRESS: The “temporary pause” will allow the agency's experts to review all available evidence to date concerning safety of the drugs when treating patients with COVID-19, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in remarks on Sunday.

"The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board," Tedros said.

Tedros said the decision was made after a paper published Friday in The Lancet found that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine given to patients hospitalized with the coronavirus had a higher risk of death and heart problems than those who were not given the drugs.

In the study, researchers also concluded that they were unable to “confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine when used alone or with a macrolide, on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19.”

Tedros emphasized that both hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are accepted as “generally safe” treatments for people with malaria or auto-immune diseases.

Other treatments in the study, including the experimental drug remdesivir and an HIV combination therapy, are still being pursued, Tedros said.


     

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