A substantial study has found that the arthritis medicine hydroxychloroquine sulfate helped patients survive COVID-19. In fact, the study from the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan said the drug "significantly" cut the death rate of patients.
"Treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 – and without heart-related side-effects," the health organization reports.
The retrospective analysis of 2,500 COVID-19 patients found the drug can be effective if patients received it early in their treatment.
"Our analysis shows that using hydroxychloroquine helped save lives," said neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Kalkanis, CEO, Henry Ford Medical Group and Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of Henry Ford Health System. "As doctors and scientists, we look to the data for insight. And the data here is clear that there was benefit to using the drug as a treatment for sick, hospitalized patients."
President Trump had touted the drug early on as a possible experimental treatment for virus patients, but then studies found conflicting results about its effectiveness and the news media hammered him on it. One of the earlier negative studies was later retracted.
Scientists from the Henry Ford Health System believe their study was successful for several reasons.
"The findings have been highly analyzed and peer-reviewed," said Dr. Marcus Zervos, division head of Infectious Disease for Henry Ford Health System, who co-authored the study with Henry Ford epidemiologist Dr. Samia Arshad. "We attribute our findings that differ from other studies to early treatment, and part of a combination of interventions that were done in supportive care of patients, including careful cardiac monitoring. Our dosing also differed from other studies not showing a benefit of the drug. And other studies are either not peer-reviewed, have limited numbers of patients, different patient populations or other differences from our patients."
Still, the study showed the drug combination was not able to save everyone, especially patients older than 65 with other health conditions. Roughly 18% of hospitalized patients still died. "Patients who died commonly had serious underlying diseases, including chronic kidney and lung disease, with 88% dying from respiratory failure," the analysis indicates.
“Currently, the drug should be used only in hospitalized patients with appropriate monitoring, and as part of study protocols, in accordance with all relevant federal regulations,” Dr. Zervos said.
Read the study here.
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Meanwhile, CBN News has reported about numerous anecdotes of high-profile COVID patients who credited the drug with saving their lives.
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