Chloroquine Increases Mortality Rate in Covid Patients

Berne ( / ats) – Donald Trump announced Monday that he would take hydrochloroquine as a preventive against the coronavirus. Today, a study of 96,000 patients worldwide shows that those treated with this drug have a higher mortality rate.

Hydrochloroquine and chloroquine, two malaria drugs, have no effect on patients hospitalized for Covid-19, said Mandeep Mehra, head of the Center for Advanced Heart Disease at Harvard University, quoted in Friday a press release from the Zurich University Hospital.

On the contrary, the data show that they have a higher risk of death: 11.1% for patients treated with one of these drugs, against 9.3% for a control sample.

Researchers also observed a higher risk of cardiac arrhythmia, especially in patients with heart disease. Between 4 and 8% of patients treated with one of the antimalarials thus experienced a new arrhythmia, compared to 0.3% for those who did not take such treatment.

“No proof”

There is “no scientific proof” of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, assures Frank Ruschitzka, head of the cardiology department of the University of Zurich. The two drugs should therefore no longer be used in case of Covid-19 until the results of other studies are available.

Harvard and Zurich researchers have evaluated an observational study of 96,000 Covid-19 patients in 671 hospitals worldwide. About 15,000 of them were treated with an antimalarial when the disease first appeared. Their results were published in the journal “The Lancet”.

Seventeen hospitals in Switzerland are currently participating in a World Health Organization (WHO) study to test the efficacy of hydrochloroquine.

ats / rp