A study by the Chinese has discovered that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial medicine, does not speed up the recovery of COVID-19 patients.
Daily Mail reports that the scientists who were drawn from across China said although patients who took it suffered fewer symptoms, their recovery time was the same with other patients.
The scientists say the drug might work by controlling an individual’s immune system to prevent COVID-19 infection from getting too severe but that it was not a cure.
The scientists carried out a clinical trial, testing chloroquine on 75 COVID-19 patients in hospitals and compared their symptoms to 75 patients who did not receive the drug.
A paper published after the experiment said patients received the medication for two or three weeks depending on the severity of their illness and were all tested 28 days after being diagnosed.
“The overall 28-day negative conversion rate was not different between [standard care plus hydroxychloroquine] and [standard care] groups,” the paper read.
They said 85.4% of people taking chloroquine tested negative after four weeks along with 81.3% of those who didn’t take the drug.
The scientists said they did find that symptoms appeared to be milder in people being given the antimalarial medication, adding that their white blood cell counts and C-reactive protein, which increases during a body’s fight against an infection, “returned to normal faster than other patients.”
The study says 10 out of the 75 patients suffered diarrhoea as a side effect of the drug during the study.
Clinical trials taken in Brazil have been suspended after some patients developed heart problems, New York Times reports.
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