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article imageFrance bans the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19

By Karen Graham     May 27, 2020 in Health
Paris - The French government on Wednesday revoked a decree authorizing hospitals to prescribe the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 patients after France’s public health watchdog warned against its use to treat the disease.
On Tuesday, reports, the country’s public health agency advised against using hydroxychloroquine outside of clinical trials. Shortly after that, the national medicines regulator suspended its use in clinical trials.
"Whether [in doctors offices] in the cities or in the hospital, this ... should not be prescribed for patients with COVID-19," the ministry said in a statement.
The move comes just two days after the World Health Organization (WHO) said safety concerns had prompted it to suspend the use of the drug in a global trial, and almost a week after The Lancet published the results of a worldwide observational study that cast doubt on the benefit of hydroxychloroquine and another malaria drug, chloroquine, in treating COVID-19 patients.
The study used data from 671 hospitals in six continents. Included were patients hospitalized between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020, The study was unable to confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide, on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19. Each of these drug regimens was associated with decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for the treatment of COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine is usually prescribed for the treatment of Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, but US President Donald Trump and others have touted it as a possible treatment for Covid-19, according to the France24. Quoted in France24, Dr. Mandeep Mehra, a study leader and heart specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said, “not only is there no benefit, but we saw a very consistent signal of harm.”
More about hydroxychloroquine, coronavirus, France, treatment for coronavirus, Lancet
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