A drug that’s been touted by President Trump as a “game changer” didn’t help hospitalized patients with coronavirus, and was associated with heart complications, according to a new study.
“This provides evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not apparently treat patients with Covid-19,” said Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Even worse, there were side effects caused by the drug – heart toxicities that required it be discontinued.”
The study was published Tuesday on a pre-print server and was not peer reviewed.
In the study, among the 84 patients who took hydroxychloroquine, 20.2% were admitted to the ICU or died within seven days of inclusion. Among the 97 patients who did not take the drug, 22.1% went to the ICU or died.
The difference was determined to not be statistically significant.
Looking just at deaths, 2.8% of the patients who took hydroxychloroquine died, and 4.6% of the patients who did not take it died. That difference was also found to not be statistically significant.