Covid: WHO does not recommend hydroxychloroquine as a preventive drug against the disease

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 2 March 2021 at 10h11 · Updated on 2 March 2021 at 18h35
This Tuesday March 2, WHO announced in a memo released in the British Medical Journal that Hydroxychloroquine was not recommended as a preventive drug against Covid, relying on six randomized clinical trials, results have shown the inefficiency of the product to fight against severe coronavirus. In addition to those studies, a study carried out by Epi-phare, lead to the same conclusion.

Is hydroxychloroquine definitely ineffective as a preventive drug against coronavirus? This Tuesday March 2, 2021, WHO announced in a memo issued in the British Medical Journal the drug was not recommended as a preventive drug to fight against severe Covid. "The guideline development panel made a strong recommendation against the use of hydroxychloroquine for individuals who do not have covid-19 (high certainty)", experts say.

A statement that relies on six randomized studies carried out around the world, and showing the uselessness of the product to treat severe coronavirus: "hydroxychloroquine had a small or no effect on mortality and admission to hospital (high certainty evidence). There was a small or no effect on laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (moderate certainty evidence) but probably increased adverse events leading to discontinuation (moderate certainty evidence)".

In addition to them, a study released on Tuesday July 7, 2020 by Epi-phare – a public expertise company in pharmacy-epidemiology of health products and safety, autonomous and reactive, created by the Medical Products Agency and the National sickness insurance fund says the anti-malaria treatment and its derivative do not protect patients from severe forms of the disease and the fatality risks that go with it.

Including 55,000 patients, the study focused on “all people who have been given at least six reimbursed synthetic malaria drug deliveries (hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine) between January 1, 2019 and February 15, 2020 the last one being included in the last quarter of 2019 or early 2020”. And the authors spell it out: “These results are not speaking in favor of using hydroxychloroquine in population as a preventive drug” they explain. They go on, adding this treatment “does not suggest a preventive role in the use of synthetic malaria drugs on a long-term basis on a likely hospitalization, intubation or death by Covid-19”.

Even worse, since results tend to show that there is “an increased risk of hospitalization, intubation and death related to Covid-19 among patients getting synthetic malaria drugs on a long-term basis in comparison with the overall French population” even though “analyses perform suggest characteristics related to the underlying chronic disease explain this increased risk”. 

This drug is to be avoided then, WHO says, as they no longer consider this drug as a lead in new studies against Covid.

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