The Hydroxychloroquine Story

A very thorough and interesting re-cap of the science and politics of hydroxychloroquine. It is a long read but puts the various claims and studies – pro and con – into perspective.

5 thoughts on “The Hydroxychloroquine Story

  1. Fascinating read. Thanks for posting.

    Meanwhile Moderna is announcing 94.6% effectiveness for its vaccine that is in phase 3. I don’t know much about the route they are taking (single dose, storage requirements, etc.). But the more the merrier.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Moderna’s vaccine still requires 2 doses 3 weeks apart, but it can be stored by ordinary refrigeration so it will be more easily distributed to less advanced facilities.

      Between the initial batches from Moderna and Pfizer we would have enough to protect the vulnerable (over 70 and over 65 with co-morbidities)population by Christmas, if the FDA would just get out of the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is an interesting recap of the process. and I had not read about Boulare’s small study, but it’s an issue that has been bypassed by time.

    As the article confirms, there are two phases to the disease. The initial viral propagation and the immune system storm that actually kills people. Anything you can do to reduce the first phase reduces the severity of the latter stage. Once the 2nd stage has started, antiviral measures are of less use.

    That was the problem with most of the studies critical of HCQ, nearly all of the large studies were done in hospitalized patients well into the 2nd stage. (although HCQ does have some benefit in stage 2)

    Now, Regeneron and Lilly’s monoclonal antibody preparations are becoming available, and convalescent plasma is more available. Either is much more effective than HCQ, but they are also most effective as outpatient early treatments. Likewise, Dexamethasone is more effective in stage 2 than HCQ.

    But HCQ was never approved in the US for outpatient use by your family doctor, when it would have been most effective. The EUA was for use on severely ill hospitalized patients well after it was too late to be of use.

    So, it is moot now, as other medications are online that are better, but still, tens of thousands of lives might well have been saved had HCQ been the first line, outpatient treatment back when there was nothing else.

    It would not have been a miracle cure, but it would have kept a significant number of people from getting ill enough to need hospitalization.

    But the knee jerk negative reaction to the recommendation of HCQ by Trump really prevented serious consideration.


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