The anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has emerged as a ray of hope for a large number of COVID-19 patients, according to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). The AAPS has said that the HCQ has improved the survival and recovery odds for about 90 per cent of patients infected with the virus.
In a letter to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, the doctors associated with AAPS presented a frequently updated table of studies that report results of treating COVID-19 with the chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine drugs.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had on April 24 cautioned people against over-the-counter use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for Covid-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to the risk of heart rhythm problems.
Here’s what the AAPS observed about HCQ:
1. The AAPS presented data on 2,333 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine in China, France, South Korea, Algeria, and the US.
2. The data shows 91.6 per cent of those who got the drug fared better after treatment.
3. The antiviral properties of these drugs have been studied since 2003. Particularly when combined with zinc, they hinder viral entry into cells and inhibit replication. They may also prevent overreaction by the immune system, which causes the cytokine storm responsible for much of the damage in severe cases, the AAPS explained.
4. Peer-reviewed studies published from January through April 20, this year, provide clear and convincing evidence that hydroxychloroquine may be beneficial in COVID-19, especially when used early, they stated.
5. AAPS’s endorsement of the drug comes after the study from Veterans Health Administration medical centres showed that hydroxychloroquine has no benefit in treating patients with the disease.