Chloroquine, the other clinical trial that weakens hope for a miracle treatment

The effect of a cold shower. Since becoming aware of the clinical trial published on March 6, in the newspaper of the University of Zhejiang – a Chinese province south of Shanghai – the infectiologist François Bricaire has been clearly more reserved about the efficacy hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial sold under the name of Plaquenil, in the treatment of coronavirus. “The teaching of this therapeutic trial is bad news: hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 does not work,” he said, somewhat disillusioned.

And yet: 48 hours ago, the former head of the infectious diseases department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital deemed the results of the clinical test conducted by Professor Didier Raoult – head of the IHU Mediterranean Infection of “particularly promising” Marseille – 24 patients with coronavirus. While recognizing the methodological shortcomings of this study (small sample of patients, absence of placebo group), François Bricaire declared himself “in a personal capacity” for the generalization of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus. Leaves to take the Ministry of Health and part of the scientific community, who are very cautious on the issue.

But the findings of the clinical trial of 30 patients with infectious disease specialists from the Shanghai hospital considerably weakened the enthusiasm of the eminent infectious disease specialist. “The methodology that has been used seems to me to be successful, despite a number of patients that is still too low,” he said beforehand. In detail, it should be noted that the Chinese doctors separated the sample retained in two. A first group of fifteen patients received 400 mg of hydroxychloroquine daily for five days, plus a placebo drug. The other seven patients, grouped in a “control group”, were administered only placebo. “At the end of the seven-day protocol, there was never any significant difference

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