Many of you are asking us every day, via the orange Alert us button, why we are not making massive use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. The answer is that there is currently not enough hindsight to ensure that this molecule is really effective.
The study, published by the Zhejiang University newspaper on March 6, looked at 30 patients with Covid-19, half of whom had taken hydroxychloroquine. After seven days, 13 of the 15 patients who followed this treatment tested negative, which means that Covid-19 had disappeared from their body. For the group that did not receive it, this figure was 14. The median time taken by the two groups to heal was significantly similar. But the sample used is too small to be considered significant.
A recent French study, involving the same number of patients, showed that hydroxychloroquine, a derivative of chloroquine (their molecules are close), was particularly effective in fighting Covid-19, especially when taken with azithromycin, an antibiotic.
Chloroquine is an inexpensive antimalarial used for several decades and marketed in particular under the name of Nivaquine.
The World Health Organization calls for caution regarding chloroquine, due to the small number of patients who have used it. Scientists call for more patience, until a larger, more representative sample of patients can be tested, over longer durations.
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