A new study suggests that an old malarial drug can help fight the coronavirus

A 50-year drug named Hydroxychloroquine, which was used to treat malaria seems promising to fight COVID-19. This becomes very effective when this drug is combined with an antibiotic, says a new study. The drug sold under the name of Plaquenil has proven to be effective against the killing monster in laboratory trials reported in Forbes on March 9 in Clinical Infections Disease journal.

Hydroxychloroquine was primarily used to treat malaria in people who are sensitive to Chloroquine. Since Chloroquine was already used in treating COVID-19, scientists wanted to know the efficiency of Hydroxychloroquine against the disease. This is because Hydroxychloroquine has a higher margin of safety when compared to Chloroquine. Therefore, scientists kept their laboratory trials to evaluate efficiency, thereby determining the dose. On evaluation, it was found that the drug is found to be more potent than Chloroquine against COVID-19 at a dose of 400mg per day. The potency was three times more when compared to the dose of 500 mg of Chloroquine given twice daily.

The trial

After this, a French physician has completed a large successful clinical trial in treating the affected patients with COVID-19. The study published on Wednesday states that a total of 36 patients took part in the study. Of which 20 were treated individuals, and 16 were controls. The treated group took 600mg of Plaquenil each day. Surprisingly, 50 percent of the patients tested negative for the virus by the third day, and on the sixth day, the number raised to about 70 percent. Of these, 20 six were treated with both Plaquenil and azithromycin. Of which five turned out to be negative by day three and all six to be negative by day six. Although the study population is very small, it revealed to us that there was a significant reduction in viral load on treating with Hydroxychloroquine, and the treatment was greatly effective when azithromycin was added to it.

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Source: NYPost

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