Unlike the US President’s unending vouch for the centuries-old malaria drug to treat COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine was found to be ineffective in the widely anticipated clinical trial.
The study gauged hydroxychloroquine to placebo in a first-in-kind clinical trial conducted on over 800 people by the University of Minnesota. It concluded the drug did not have any significant side effects or heart problems.
Results show 11.8% of the 821 COVID-19 infected or high-risk individuals developed symptoms compared to the novel coronavirus. On the other hand, 14.3% got a placebo, Reuters reports. This concluded the highly anticipated drug is no better than a placebo.
Proponents of the drug claim that it will have effects when administered at an early stage or taken along with mineral zinc which can boost the immune. However, more than 20% of the trial subjects took zinc with no significant effect.
Placebo means a prescription — medicine or procedure — given for psychological benefits rather than clinical of physiological effects. “Our data is pretty clear that for post-exposure, this does not really work,” lead researcher of the trial and an infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota, Dr. David Boulware told Reuters.
The doctor told none of the extreme sides that claim the drug is helpful are harmful is correct. US President Donald Trump reportedly took hydroxychloroquine to keep himself away from the virus after two White House staff was diagnosed with the disease.
Earlier claims by leading research groups said the drug can have a significant side effect on heart health. World Health Organization paused the arm of research over hydroxychloroquine on May 25th over safety concerns. However, as of Wednesday, the UN health agency is resuming trials to test its effectiveness on COVID-19.