Hydroxychloroquine, the drug that Donald Trump touted as "one of the biggest game changers" in the search for a cure for COVID-19, appears to be doing more harm than good, the Associated Press reports.
In a study conducted on 368 male veterans who were admitted to Veterans Health Administration medical centers after contracting the coronavirus, about 28 percent of the patients died when they were given hydroxychloroquine, along with routine medical care. Only 11 percent of those individuals who received just the traditional care had died.
The study also indicates that hydroxychloroquine had no bearing on their patients’ need to be put on a ventilator. While the drug’s side effects weren’t tracked, researchers believe that it may have contributed to "damaging other organs." Rita Wilson revealed on CBS This Morning last week that she was given chloroquine, an older form of hydroxychloroquine, and experienced some "extreme side effects."
"My fever did break but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects," Wilson recalled. “I was completely nauseous and I had vertigo. I could not walk. My muscles felt very weak. I think people have to be very considerate of that drug. We don't know if it's helpful."
In March, Trump voiced his support towards hydroxychloroquine, a drug previously used to treat malaria, as a possible treatment option for coronavirus. He also claimed that "if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody," however, an Arizona man died a week later after hearing Trump’s endorsement.
Scientists in Brazil suspended a hydroxychloroquine-based study after a quarter of their patients developed heart rhythm problems when they were given 600 milligrams twice a day over the span of 10 days.
The New York Times reported earlier this month of "a small personal financial interest" that Trump has in Sanofi, the French company behind the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine known as Plaquenil.