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"French study finds hydroxychloroquine doesn't help patients with coronavirus"


Senior Member
Here is good news for those here with Lupus or who have friends with Lupus. It looks like Lupus patients will no longer faces shortages of hydroxychloroquine. A study found the drug does nothing for coronavirus:

French study finds hydroxychloroquine doesn't help patients with coronavirus
By Dr. Minali Nigam and Elizabeth Cohen, CNN
(CNN)A drug that's been touted by President Donald Trump as a "game changer" didn't help hospitalized patients with coronavirus and was associated with heart complications, according to a new study.
"This provides evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not apparently treat patients with Covid 19," said Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Even worse, there were side effects caused by the drug -- heart toxicities that required it be discontinued."
Trump has said that hydroxychloroquine shows "tremendous promise" and has made it sound like the drug is harmless.
"I think it's going to be great," Trump said at a White House briefing on March 19.
"What do you have to lose? Take it," he said on April 4.
Physicians have warned that while Trump is enthusiastic about the drug, it still needs to be studied to see if it works and if it's safe.
"People can claim what they want, but the proof is in the pudding, and this is the pudding," Offit said.
In the French study, doctors looked back at medical records for 181 patients with Covid-19 who had pneumonia and required supplemental oxygen. About half had taken hydroxychloroquine within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital, and the other half had not.
The doctors followed the patients and found there was no statistically significant difference in the death rates of the two groups, or their chances of being admitted to the intensive care unit.
The study also raised important safety concerns about hydroxychloroquine.
In the study, eight patients who took the drug developed abnormal heart rhythms and had to stop taking it.
Abnormal heart rhythms are a known side effect of hydroxychloroquine, which has been used for decades to treat patients with diseases such as malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Doctors in Sweden and Brazil have sounded warnings about chloroquine, a very similar drug, because of heart problems.
In the new study, among the 84 patients who took hydroxychloroquine, 20.2% were admitted to the ICU or died within seven days of taking the drug. Among the 97 patients who did not take the drug, 22.1% went to the ICU or died.
The difference was not determined to be statistically different
Looking just at deaths, 2.8% of the patients who took hydroxychloroquine died, and 4.6% of the patients who did not take it died. That difference was also not found to be statistically significant.
"These results do not support the use of [hydroxychloroquine] in patients hospitalised for documented SARSCoV-2-positive hypoxic pneumonia," the study authors wrote.
The study was published Tuesday on medRxiv.org, a pre-print server founded by Yale University, the journal BMJ and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Studies published on this website have not been peer reviewed."

Lupus patients were unfortunately harmed by the false belief hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 cure:
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wiggle jiggle
if you have 1,000 patients

- 46 die without hydroxychloroquine (4,6%)
- 28 die with hydroxychloro (2,8%)

ah its rubbish... ok, will think about...


Senior Member
Funny is when pharmaceutical drugs are advised effective, even as small as 30% percent of relative risk decrease (ie. only 2 instead of 3 out of a 100 patients died) is taken as significantly effective. Like for example for the cholesterin-lowering drugs of statins, prescribed to so many a certain age.

According to this 2.6% compared to 4.6% would be a 70% relative risk reduction! But some really don't like to see it that way for particular reasons..


Senior Member
The numbers can be played with in so many ways. If you really want to make the difference look insignificant, you can compare the difference in number of deaths as a percentage of the present living population of humans, or of the number of humans that have died since humans have existed...and not mention exactly what the percentage represents. ;)


Senior Member
if you have 1,000 patients

But we don't have 1000 patients, we have less than 100, which changes the statistical significance.

The study found 3 out of 84 given HCQ died, and 4 out of 89 not given HCQ died.

That's a very slight improvement for the HCQ group, but it is not a statistically significant improvement, meaning it could have easily occurred by chance alone.

It's possible that if HCQ had been given earlier in the infection, so that it has more time to work, then it may have produced slightly better results. But normally coronavirus patients will only be given medical treatment once they are taken to hospital. And in any case, there is not enough HCQ in the world to give it to everyone who has coronavirus.


Senior Member
There are some suggestions that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) works best when taken with zinc: HCQ raises intracellular zinc, and it is the increased zinc levels in the cell that have an antiviral effect.

Wikipedia says:
Chloroquine also seems to act as a zinc ionophore, that allows extracellular zinc to enter the cell and inhibit viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.

And this study says:
Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture

A clinical trial of HCQ + zinc is being run in Istanbul. Be interesting to see if they get better results.

Interestingly, in vitro, resveratrol at a concentration of 10 μM has been shown to substantially increase intracellular zinc.

Unfortunately the oral bioavailability of resveratrol is very low, as it is rapidly metabolized in intestines and liver. But one study suggests resveratrol bioavailability can be improved via transdermal application.
Gee, it was a CNN report and it was slanted anti Trump??? Go figure!
I had read the study early on and as I recall the average patient had been diagnosed for 2 weeks. If the treatment is started in the 3-7 day the results are much more promising The addition of Zinc and an antibiotic seem to further support recovery.
I wish people would leave politics aside just for the next few months..

It seems the countries where this drug is used routinely for malaria they have very few cases of the virus-just coincidence?


Senior Member
It's not meant to help hospitalized patients. Pr Raoult uses it on early tested patients in the very first days of the disease.
Azithromycin alone or with zinc may be efficient as well to reduce the severity and bad outcomes.
This is what doctors found in their clinical practices/trials. The problem is that we don't have the true statistics about infection outcomes to compare their results with the natural evolution of the disease.



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Senior Member
My heart goes out to the Lupus patients.
Even though,I watched a video which I found so interesting that I hope some ME/CFS doctors and researchers will see it.
Youtube video
"hydroxychloroquine: what does the research really say?"(Dr.Eric Berg's Youtube channel)
at 6:55min Dr Zelenko begins to talk.
He treated 350patients with HCQ& Zinc.
deaths: zero
patients who ended up on ventilators: 3
patients who needed additonal IV antiB:6
"what HCQ is doing: it allows Zinc to get into the cell and to inhibit reproduction of the virus.Zinc is a positively charged mineral,it crosses NOT easily through the cell membrane.For Zinc its hard to get where it needs ti be."


Senior Member
Well this study from 2005 (as mentioned previously) re SARS Coronavirus and Chloroquine definitively had a different outcome.
Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread



Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.


We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations.


Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds. . . .
Chloroquine has been widely used to treat human diseases, such as malaria, amoebiosis, HIV, and autoimmune diseases, without significant detrimental side effects. . . .
(Note bolding added to quote for emphasis).

I think it is also interesting to note that many of the authors/contributors to this study would not be unknown to the NIH. (Contributor Information Martin J Vincent, Email: vog.cdc@tnecnivm. Eric Bergeron, Email: ac.cq.mcri@eregreb., Suzanne Benjannet, Email: ac.cq.mcri@snajneb., Bobbie R Erickson, Email: vog.cdc@1noskcirEB., Pierre E Rollin, Email: vog.cdc@nilloRP., Thomas G Ksiazek, Email: vog.cdc@kezaisKT., Nabil G Seidah, Email: ac.cq.mcri@nhadies., and Stuart T Nichol, Email: vog.cdc@ ).

I realize the 2005 study was conducted on primate cell cultures for the SARS virus and the SARS 2 CoVID-19 Coronavirus is a different virus arising from different genetic material than the original SARS Coronavirus. But, I still wonder why the NIH waited until April 9th to start a study to look at the potential of this drug as a possible treatment for a virus with a such significant genetic similarity and symptom profile to the first SARS Coronavirus. 🤔

It was publicly known back in February that this was a SARS like coronavirus and money was flowing like a fire hose turned on full blast at other treatments that would not even be available for use for months or even years. If the doctors on the front lines who were treating patients with this drug (or with a combo drug treatment, which included azithromycin and/or zinc) and they were seeing what appeared to be a significant positive impact on their patients, then why was there such heel dragging to investigate this drug? It is a well known drug with decades of use in humans, lots of safety data, an established supply chain and the cherry on the top - an incredibly inexpensive cost that could be scaled up for rapid distribution to a very large population.

Just seems to me like a lot more details and investigation needs to be flushed out about the “when, where, what, who, why and how” before the story of this drug and SARS COVID-19 can be kicked to the curb and buried.
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wiggle jiggle
early march or last week of february i was googling this virus.
and the first thing came up was chloroquine.
and i think it was in the context of CHICKEN acquiring coronavirus and being successfully treated with chloroquine - but i may remember wrong.

it was long-long-long before trump or anything else came into the news with this.
meantime, its impossible to find anything anymore, since the search engines are wrecked with covid19 related things and trump.

that chloroquine helps for corona virus is very old news.


wiggle jiggle
i may indeed remember wrong, since when i remember right (... sorry...) the WHO still maintains chicken cant acquire covid19... ???

if they indeed can get infected with corona virus, why shouldnt they catch covid19.


Senior Member
New study finds hydroxychloroquine does work for coronavirus, but only if you take it with zinc:
For the study, published on pre-print site medRxiv.org, the team looked at 932 COVID-19 patients hospitalized between March 2 and April 5.

Roughly half were given a combination of zinc sulfate, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.

The other half received just hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.

Results showed that patients receiving the triple-drug combination had a 1.5 times greater likelihood of recovering enough to be discharged.

They were also 44 percent less likely to die, compared to those who were given the double-drug combination.

Hydroxychloroquine acts as a zinc ionophore, a substance which promote the transport of zinc ions into the cell, thereby increasing intracellular zinc levels. It is then the zinc inside the cell which has the antiviral effect.