People treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine regimens were more likely to experience rapid and abnormal heart rhythms.

Scientists in the United States ruled out that there is evidence that hydroxychloroquine, a drug taken by President Donald Trump, reduce the death rate in people with coronavirus, according to a study published this Friday in The Lancet.

People treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine regimens, by contrast, were much more likely to experience rapid and abnormal heart rhythms (known as ventricular arrhythmias) than their counterparts who had not received the medications.

“We saw a quadrupling the rate of ventricular arrhythmias significant in patients with Covid-19 who had been treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine regimens, “study author Mandeep R. Mehra of Brigham and Women’s Hospital said in a statement.

The investigation included data from more than 96,000 people hospitalized with coronavirus. Of these, almost 15,000 had received the drug with or without an antibiotic (macrolides such as azithromycin and clarithromycin) early after diagnosis.

With that, They found that 10,698 patients taking one of these drugs died in hospital and 85 thousand 334 survived until discharge. The team compared this mortality rate with that of a control group.

The mortality rate among the control group was 9.3 percent. Each of the chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine drug regimens alone, or in combination with a macrolide, was associated with an increased risk of hospital death with Covid-19.

Furthermore, each one of the drug regimens was associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia. Among the treatment groups between four and eight percent experienced this condition, compared to 0.3 percent of the control group.

“Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are known to cause cardiovascular toxicity, and previous studies have shown that macrolides can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death,” the researchers alerted.

They noted that the current study is observational in nature; This means that it cannot absolutely answer the question of whether drug regimens were solely responsible for changes in survival. So that randomized clinical trials will be required before reaching a conclusion on harm.

“These findings suggest that these drug regimens should not be used outside the scope of clinical trials and that urgent confirmation from randomized clinical trials is needed,” the authors conclude. (Ntx)