An Italian study finds that hydroxychloroquine substantially reduces the risk of death for COVID-19 patients.
“We observed that patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a 30% lower in-hospital mortality rate compared to those not receiving this treatment,” lead study author Augusto Di Castelnuovo said in a media release. Di Castelnuovoa is an epidemiologist with IRCCS Neuromed at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute.
The report, which has been published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, looked at outcomes of 3,451 patients in 33 coronavirus-focused hospitals throughout Italy. “After comparing drug improvements and final outcomes, the results remain consistent in showing a benefit to using hydroxychloroquine,” StudyFinds.com reports.
“Our data were subjected to extremely rigorous statistical analysis, taking into account all the variables and possible confounding factors that could come into play. The drug efficacy was evaluated in various subgroups of patients,” Di Castelnuovo said.
“The positive results of hydroxychloroquine treatment remained unchanged,” the study author adds. “Especially in those patients showing a more evident inflammatory state at the moment of admission to hospital.”
Hydroxychloroquine, best known as an antimalarial drug, was deemed the most highly rated treatment for the novel coronavirus in an international poll of more than 6,000 doctors.
The survey, released in April and conducted by Sermo, a global health care polling company, asked 6,227 physicians in 30 countries to find out what works against SARS-CoV-2. The poll found that 37% of those treating patients suffering frm the coronavirusa that causes COVID-19 patients rated hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy.”
The physicians picked hydroxychloroquine from a list of 15 choices.
Azithromycin, known by the brand name Zithromax or Z-Pak, camed in as the second-most effective therapy at 32%, followed by “nothing.”
“Outside the U.S., hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the U.S. it was most commonly used for high risk diagnosed patients,” the survey found.