Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin be an effective treatment for COVID19?

The researchers gave 600 mg of hydroxychloroquine daily to a group of patients suffering from COVID-19 from early March to March 16

Picture: Pixabay

As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to grow worldwide with no sign of slowing down, a recent study carried out by the French researchers has provided a new ray of hope for the patients. The preliminary result of an open-label non-randomised clinical trial suggests that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin drugs can be quite effective in treating the disease, which has till now claimed 13, 000 lives across the globe.

The study
The study was carried out by a team of French researchers after it was reported that the combination of drugs was effective on Chinese patient infected with the new strains of coronavirus.

For the study, the researchers gave 600 mg of hydroxychloroquine daily to a group of patients suffering from COVID-19 from early March to March 16. After this, the viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs of the patients were tested daily in a hospital. Based on the result and the medical condition of the patients, azithromycin was added to the treatment.

At the end of the study, 22 patients were treated and showed a significant reduction of the viral carriage in three to six days using this combination of drugs. The result suggests that when azithromycin is added to hydroxychloroquine the drugs become more efficient in eliminating the virus.

Also read: WHO message to youth on coronavirus

The trial was indeed carried out on a very small number of people, but it draws a clear conclusion that hydroxychloroquine treatment on COVID19 can reduce or destroy the number of the deadly virus in infected people and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin.

What you should know about these two drugs
Hydroxychloroquine is an oral drug prescribed for treating malaria and certain inflammatory conditions, while Azithromycin is used to treat certain bacterial infections, such as bronchitis; pneumonia.

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are associated with QT prolongation, which is a measure to delayed ventricular repolarisation. In this process, the heart muscle takes longer than normal to recharge between beats. So, it is advised to use the drugs cautiously on patients with chronic medical conditions like renal failure and hepatic disease.

The bottom line
This clinical trial was approved by the French National Agency for Drug Safety (ANSM) and the French Ethics Committee for reviewing and approved. As per the CDC, hydroxychloroquine is currently under investigation in clinical trials for the pre-exposure or post-exposure treatment of patients with mild, moderate and severe COVID-19. The trail is indeed promising, but still a lot more research and approval are needed before using the shot of drugs on masses.