[Written on: 10-Apr-2020]
What’s “drug of 2020” if you ask? The answer is likely: Hydroxychloroquine, so far, at least.
Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that’s been used worldwide for several decades, has been under the spotlight after President Trump’s multiple promotion attempts, both on his tweeter account and at the White House daily press briefings. President Trump is not alone, by now several country leaders have issued orders to ramp up production or stocking of hydroxychloroquine and putting restrictions on export.
So, what’s the story of this Hydroxychloroquine treatment?
While Hydroxychloroquine has already been evaluated for coronavirus treatment in Wuhan, China, before the virus spread to the world; hydroxychloroquine really started to hit the headlines after the promotion from President Trump; and the rationale most likely came from this graph below.
This graph is from a small study conducted in France by Dr. Raoult, a professor of Medicine at Universite d’Aix-Marselle, one of world’s top expert in infectious disease. Just by looking at the graph, anyone can easily make conclusion that the combination of Hydroxychloroquine with Azithromycin (aka Z-pack) is the game changing treatment for Covid-19 coronavirus.
While this finding brought enormous enthusiasm to the public, because curing in just 5-6 days is a superb result comparing to any other type of available treatment. In addition, these drugs used have a long history, meaning they are relatively safe; these are also widely available and affordable.
However, this study also drew quite a lot of criticism due to the method this test was carried out, and its small sample size, as there were less than 30 patients total for this test.
Dr. Rauolt later published another finding with more patients this time, 80 people, all treated using the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination. The result is again promising, but not without questions. One 86 year-old patient died unfortunately, but virus cultures from patient respiratory samples were negative in 97.5% by day 5. One of the biggest criticisms on this second study is the lack of control group, meaning no bases for comparison. To Dr. Rauolt’s point though, he says because he deeply believes in the benefit of this combo treatment, he thought it’d be unethical to not deliver this treatment to the selected patients (control group).
Zinc, surfaced to the news headline after Dr. Vladimir Zelenko from New York claimed he has treated over 600 hundred patients with 100% success rate with the previously mentioned combo plus zinc. Very encouraging news of course.
All of the above mentioned have been cleared by authorities for doctors to prescribe to their patients on a case-by-case basis for this covid-19 coronavirus treatment, and at the same time large scale clinical trials and studies are also happening at many medical facilities around the globe. Hopefully very soon there will be good news for the world.
What’s your thought on this treatment? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.