Breaking News Today

Malaria drug endorsed by Trump does not prevent COVID-19, new study says

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was found not to prevent coronavirus among volunteers in a study released on Wednesday

The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine — which President Trump said he took in the hope of warding off COVID-19 — was found not to prevent infections among volunteers in a study released on Wednesday.

The study, which was ended early, included 125 healthcare workers, some of whom took hydroxychloroquine daily for eight weeks, while the others took a placebo.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Victoria records 15 new cases, two deaths

"There was no significant difference in infection rates in participants randomised to receive hydroxychloroquine compared with placebo," the researchers wrote in the study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Based on their findings, the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania wrote they "cannot recommend the routine use of hydroxychloroquine" among healthcare workers to prevent COVID-19.

It found that four of the 64 healthcare workers who were randomly given hydroxychloroquine ended up testing positive for COVID-19 — and four of the 61 healthcare workers who were given a placebo tested positive.

READ MORE: DCMO slaps down MP's push for hydroxychloroquine

Among those eight participants who tested positive, six developed symptoms, none required hospitalisation and all clinically recovered from the illness, according to the study.

Overall, the findings in the new research are similar to what was reported in another study in the New England Journal of Medicine back in June.

The previous study found hydroxychloroquine did not prevent illness when used within four days of being exposed to the coronavirus.

Donald Trump

Dr David Boulware, an author of the previous study, told CNN in June that Trump's physician sought his opinion about taking the drug as a preventative, the results of the study and the dose the study subjects were taking.

READ:  Euthanasia Back on Tas Agenda

Dr Boulware said he advised the President's physician that there was no published research showing hydroxychloroquine worked to prevent the virus.

He said the study participants who took hydroxychloroquine had higher rates of side effects, mostly gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and vomiting.

"I knew they were probably going to ignore what I said because the White House had been talking about hydroxychloroquine for weeks and weeks and weeks," Dr Boulware, an infectious disease expert and professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, said.

"Even in the setting of a pandemic, we need research to help inform the best practice for what works in humans."

In July, the US Food and Drug Administration revoked an emergency use authorisation for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19.

The agency now says hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19.

Source: 9News

Share This
Finance Advice 2021