Coronavirus treatments

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Coronavirus treatments include the option of hydroxychloroquine, an inexpensive medication previously used to treat malaria.

Treatments in New York

There is a report that COVID-19 cases in New York City are being treated effectively by the following combination of medications and a vitamin:

(1) Hydroxychloroquine 200mg twice a day for 5 days
(2) Azithromycin 500mg once a day for 5 days
(3) Zinc sulfate 220mg once a day for 5 days

Success in Florida

A patient recovered in a hospital in Florida from COVID-19 as the New York Post reported:[1]

After more than a week, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do and, on Friday evening, Giardinieri said goodbye to his wife and three children.

“I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging,” Giardinieri said. “I really thought my end was there.”

Then, a friend sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, an over-the-counter drug that’s been used to treat malaria for decades and auto-immune diseases like lupus. ... Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug.

“He gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there’s no testing, it was not something that was approved,” said Giardinieri.

“And I said, ‘look I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning,’ because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore,” Giardinieri continued.

“He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”

After about an hour on an IV with the medicine, Giardinieri said it felt like his heart was beating out of his chest and, about two hours later, he had another episode where he couldn’t breathe.

He says he was given Benadryl and some other drugs and that when he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was “like nothing ever happened.”

He’s since had no fever or pain and can breathe again. Giardinieri said doctors believe the episodes he experienced were not a reaction to the medicine but his body fighting off the virus.

New Studies

A study on the use of chloroquine against COVID-19, by Devaux, Rolain, Colson and Raoult.[2]

Success with 78 out of 80 patients in France.[3]

French study

French researchers using a small sample size found a high cure rate by using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (an antibiotic):[4]

Six patients were asymptomatic, 22 had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and eight had lower respiratory tract infection symptoms.

Twenty cases were treated in this study and showed a significant reduction of the viral carriage at D6-post inclusion compared to controls, and much lower average carrying duration than reported of untreated patients in the literature. Azithromycin added to hydroxychloroquine was significantly more efficient for virus elimination.

An article in Nature also suggests the potential for off-label use of hydroxychloroquine, which was used long ago for malaria and was first synthesized in 1946, to treat coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2):[5]

[O]ur results show that HCQ [Hydroxychloroquine] can efficiently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. In combination with its anti-inflammatory function, we predict that the drug has a good potential to combat the disease.

Communist China has been developing treatment guidelines, now in their sixth edition, faster than the United States has. The Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of COVID-19 (6th Ed.), which is published by the National Health Commission of communist China, lists chloroquine (CQ) phosphate as a potentially even better drug than HCQ due to a lower cost, more potent effect, and wider availability.[5]

Azithromycin

Azithromycin is traditionally used to treat bacterial rather than viral infections, and hence would not be expected to be effective if prescribed alone to treat coronavirus (COVID-19):[6]

Azithromycin is used to treat certain bacterial infections, such as bronchitis; pneumonia; sexually transmitted diseases (STD); and infections of the ears, lungs, sinuses, skin, throat, and reproductive organs. Azithromycin also is used to treat or prevent disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection [a type of lung infection that often affects people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)]. Azithromycin is in a class of medications called macrolide antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

Azithromycin is reportedly effective in reducing the viral load, and in combating lung infections which are associated with COVID-19.[7]

Off-Label Use and the FDA

The FDA sharply impedes the development of new medications in the United States, while communist China allows more freedom in rapidly developing and using new treatments. But the FDA is not authorized to make decisions about the practice of medicine, and thus it is generally allowed for a physician to use an old medication for a new purpose if it has been previously approved without limitation by the FDA. This is known as "off-label" use of a drug.

"From the FDA perspective, once the FDA approves a drug, healthcare providers generally may prescribe the drug for an unapproved use when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient."[8]

As explained by the website for the National Institutes of Health:[9]

Off-label drug use involves prescribing medications for indications, or using a dosage or dosage form, that have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the practice of medicine, OLDU has become common. It occurs in every specialty of medicine ....

See also

References

  1. https://nypost.com/2020/03/22/florida-man-with-coronavirus-says-drug-touted-by-trump-saved-his-life/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857920300881
  3. https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-IHU-2-1.pdf
  4. Gautret et al. (2020) Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents – In Press 17 March 2020 – DOI : 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949 [1]
  5. 5.0 5.1 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0156-0
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a697037.html
  7. https://www.businessinsider.com/malaria-pill-chloroquine-tested-as-coronavirus-treatment-2020-3
  8. https://www.fda.gov/patients/learn-about-expanded-access-and-other-treatment-options/understanding-unapproved-use-approved-drugs-label
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538391/