US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — French scientists have reported successful clinical trials of a combination of two existing drugs – hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin – against the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. A description is provided in the journal International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
To date, there are no special drugs designed to treat COVID-19. Moreover, in several hundreds of clinical trials that are conducted around the world, the effect of existing drugs approved for other indications on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is studied.
The studies are mainly built around two groups of drugs: remdesivir, an intravenous drug with broad antiviral activity that inhibits virus replication by terminating RNA transcription prematurely, and antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
In laboratory tests, all three drugs showed activity against SARS-CoV-2, and chloroquine is now used as the recommended antiviral agent for treating COVID-19 in China . However, for the introduction of any of these drugs into practice, clinical trials are needed.
French scientists conducted the first clinical studies of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19. Research was conducted at the Méditerranée Infection Hospital of the University of Marseille.
The study involved 36 adult patients, both with and without COVID-19 symptoms, for whom SARS-CoV-2 carriage in the nasopharynx sample was confirmed. Of those who did not agree to take new drugs, a control group of 16 people was made up, and they continued, as before, to prescribe symptomatic treatment and antibiotics to prevent bacterial superinfection.
The remaining 14 patients took orally 200 milligrams of hydroxychloroquine sulfate three times a day for ten days. Six of them, in addition to hydroxychloroquine, received 500 milligrams of azithromycin per day for the first two days to prevent superinfection, and then 250 milligrams for four days.
All six patients tolerated the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin well. An electrocardiogram was given to them daily to control the absence of side effects on the heart.
Already on the fifth day, in all six patients, tests for coronavirus gave a negative result, which was confirmed on the following days. That is, all patients with COVID-19 in the test group were completely cured in five days.
It is also interesting that one patient who received only hydroxychloroquine and was not cured started taking azithromycin on the eighth day of the study, and on the ninth day her samples for the virus were already negative.
Scientists note that, despite the fact that the test group was very small, and to confirm the results, it is necessary to conduct larger-scale clinical trials, the results are very encouraging.
Contact us: [email protected]
The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.