Study finds hydroxychloroquine may have caused 17 000 deaths during Covid

A study by French researchers suggests that nearly 17 000 people in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the US may have died during the first wave of Covid-19 after taking hydroxychloroquine, which then US President Donald Trump considered a “miracle drug”, on Thursday, the 4th of January, reports Politico.
The antimalarial drug was prescribed to some patients hospitalised with Covid-19 despite a lack of evidence documenting its clinical benefits, the researchers note in their paper published in the February issue of the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy.
The number of deaths is based on a 2021 study that reported an 11% increase in mortality, which was associated

with the prescription of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19 and its side effects, such as heart rhythm disturbances.

Researchers from the Universities of Lyon (France) and Quebec (Canada) used this figure to analyse data on Covid-19 hospitalisations in six countries, the effects of hydroxychloroquine, and the increased relative risk of death associated with the use of the drug.
They argue that the figure may be much higher, given that the study only covers six countries between March and July 2020, when the drug was more commonly prescribed.
Hydroxychloroquine gained prominence partly thanks to French virologist Didier Raoult, who was in charge of the Méditerranée Infection Foundation hospital, but was later suspended amid growing controversy, writes Politico.
Also read: Politico: EU countries throw away four billion euros worth of Covid-19 vaccines
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