WHO Halts Hydroxychloroquine Trial Over Safety Concerns

WATCH: WHO to temporarily stop study of malaria drug

"The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director general, said in a briefing. The patients in the trial have been randomly assigned to be treated with hydroxychloroquine which is a common malaria drug, or 3 other experimental drugs for treating COVID-19 in various combinations.

The UN well being physique took the step out of an "abundance of warning", stated Mike Ryan, the pinnacle of the group's emergencies program.

The study was part of the "Solidarity" trial launched by the World Health Organization, studying four different treatment options for COVID-19.

"The Department will be updating its advice that hydroxychloroquine use in treating COVID-19 is strongly discouraged including in hospitalised patients unless the patient is enrolled in a clinical trial, noting that now numbers hospitalised in Australia are very low, at this stage only 30, and there are fewer than 500 active cases across Australia", said a spokesperson from the TGA.

Dr Tedros emphasised that the concern relates specifically to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19 patients.

Swaminathan says they expect to decide whether to resume testing hydroxychloroquine in the Solidarity Trial in a week or two.

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President Trump has advocated for the use of hydroxychloroquine during the pandemic despite limited research into whether it is effective against the virus. Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents),' he wrote on March 21. "Finished, just finished", he said in an interview that aired on Sinclair Broadcasting on Sunday. 'And by the way, I'm still here. Nevertheless, it has been actively promoted by Trump, who even took a two-week hydroxychloroquine course as a safety measure towards the coronavirus.

The White House declined to comment.

In fact, patients had a higher risk of death and heart rhythm problems than patients who were not given the medicines.

Researchers found no benefit for coronavirus patients taking the drugs.

Hydroxychloroquine, which Trump has repeatedly touted as a potential game changer in fighting the coronavirus, is an anti-malarial drug that's also used by doctors to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

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