Using the drug on Covid-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying, said a study
The World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday that it had "temporarily" suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloriquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19 being carried out across a range of countries as a precautionary measure.
The decision came after the publication last week of a study in the Lancet, indicating that using the drug on Covid-19 patients could increase the risk of death, reports Independent.
"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. The other arms of the trial are continuing", WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an online briefing.
The drug has been repeatedly endorsed by a world leaders including Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro and US president Donald Trump - who yesterday said he had just finished a course of the medicine, which he claimed to have been taking as a preventative measure.
A recent study of nearly 100,000 coronavirus patients has shown no benefit in treating them with anti-viral drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and even increased the likelihood of them dying in hospital.
Meanwhile in Bangladesh, to treat the coronavirus patients, hospitals are using hydroxychloroquine, about which the US authorities have issued warnings of "serious and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm problems".
The drugs can cause dangerous abnormalities in heart rhythm in coronavirus patients, and should be used only in clinical trials or hospitals where patients can be closely monitored for heart problems, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned.
The drugs – chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin – have been recommended in the treatment protocol of Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh, according to the "National Guidelines on Clinical Management of Coronavirus Disease-2019" published in the health directorate's website.
Different countries used hydroxychloroquine on the grounds that the use of it would lessen the necessity of ventilators. But the rate of mortality is seen higher among those who are given this drug.