A pharmacist holds a tub of hydroxychloroquine.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said in a press release on Saturday that it has halted a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of adults hospitalized with COVID-19.
Though the NIH said that the drug poses “no harm” to those who have taken it, the drug is ultimately “very unlikely to be beneficial.”
The clinical trial is said to have been held in Nashville, Tennessee, starting in April, and had more than 470 people enrolled before it was halted.
Just a few days earlier, the World Health Organization announced that its dropping hydroxychloroquine from its tests of coronavirus drugs after it was found to be ineffective.
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A clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of hospitalized adults with COVID-19 has been halted after the drug was found to be ineffective, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on Friday.
According to the NIH’s press release, the drug poses “no harm” to those who have taken it, but has still been deemed “very unlikely to be beneficial” to those being treated for coronavirus.
As a result, the NIH halted its trial of the drug that it says began in April at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
A bottle of hydroxychloroquine.
The study aimed to enroll “more than 500 adults who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19,” and had enrolled more than 470 patients before it was halted, according to the NIH.
Those involved in the trial were “randomly assigned” to receive 400 milligrams of hydroxychloroquine twice daily on their first day of the trial, and then 200 milligrams of the drug twice daily on their second, third, fourth, and fifth days.
Though hydroxychloroquine is typically used to treat malaria and rheumatoid conditions like arthritis, according to the NIH, it had been tested to treat COVID-19 because “the drug had demonstrated antiviral activity, an ability to modify the activity of the immune system.”
Just three days before the NIH shared its press release, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it’s dropped hydroxychloroquine from its tests of coronavirus drugs after it also found the drug to be ineffective in treating COVID-19 patients.
As Business Insider’s Anna Medaris Miller reported, the WHO’s test had been paused once before after it was reported that the drug “might be linked to an increased risk of death for coronavirus patients.” However, a safety review didn’t confirm those reports, and the tests were later restarted.
Donald Trump is among those who have taken hydroxychloroquine in recent weeks.
In recent months, hydroxychloroquine has been provided to a wide range of people across the US — including 1,300 veterans infected with COVID-19.
Donald Trump has also taken hydroxychloroquine, though he says he’s routinely tested negative for COVID-19. The President first discussed his use of the drug on May 18, at which point he said he had been taking it “every day” for a week and a half because he had heard “very good things” about it.
“I take it,” he said at the time. “I would’ve told you that three, four days ago, but we never had a chance because you never asked me the question.”
More recently at the start of June, White House physician Sean Conley confirmed in a memo that Trump had been prescribed hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and vitamin D, for a two-week period. The note also stated that Trump “remains healthy” with “no findings of significance or changes to report” from his annual physical, as Business Insider’s Grace Panetta previously reported.
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