As the pandemic deepens, physicians face an agonizing decision — to medicate or not to medicate?

Here’s the dilemma: Over the past few weeks, some small studies suggested a decades-old malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine may have the potential to combat the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19. And as the results trickled out, the tablet has become more valuable than gold.

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  • So we have a epidemic that is seen to be so serious that we have shut down the total economy but we shouldn’t use a drug that has produced positive results reported by many doctors in treating COVID 19. The drug is a known drug and is safe so use it. I suspect if Trump hadn’t pushed for its possible use there would be less resistance.

  • Get ready to blame the far left and radical democrats who are on a mission to discredit anything trump says. See fish tank cleaner. Im sure the irresponsible reporting has lead to death.

  • This article comes from la-la-land. If a country like France scores success with a cheap, available, widely used drug for other off-label diseases, and if the whole world is racing to deal with a pandemic virus spread, then double-blind trials are just a pipe-dream. Way too time-consuming and potentially deathly. If you stick with your opinion, you should volunteer – for the wrong end of the double-blind trial. At this time, sir, there is no room for time-eating trials.

    • What is the evidence of that success, though? I note that France has suffered an additional 1,355 deaths today, bringing their total to 5,367 — a horrible one-day loss, chasing the death rate in Italy. Those deaths are out of a total of 59,105 confirmed cases (2,116 of which were added today), a ratio of over 9%.

      It would be hard to believe that any evidence of value would not result in widespread usage, given how available the drug is. And yet, they’re dying in droves. I’m not trying to dash hopes. In fact, I’m taking the drug as a prophylactic myself, so I HOPE it has some value, but there’s little evidence as yet. I had tried an AIDS combo first, but couldn’t tolerate it.

      We need a valid treatment or a preventative, at least until we get a vaccine, but it’s important to stress that we’re just running on guessing and hoping right now. With 80% of symptomatic cases resolving without hospitalization, you’re going to see a lot of anecdotal claims. People want to believe they did something that made them well.

      We don’t even know why some people go on to the most severe stages yet most don’t.

  • Ed, you say “small studies suggested a decades-old malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine may have the potential to combat the novel coronavirus”. Yet I have not seen any small or other sized studies that suggest the opposite (that are not from China). You also say “The rush to prescribe is making it hard for people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis to get refills”. So are there any lupus or rheumatoid arthritis patients taking Hydroxychloroquine that have fallen deathly ill to the coronovirus? Either of these would be easily found if they existed and become quite wide spread in the consumer media. I am not aware of these, so if I get the virus before there is a better option I’ll request Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and with Zinc sulfate as has been widely recommended. I hope you and everyone else will have the option to pick their treatment.

  • Silly argument – we don’t know enough! We have plenty of safety studies since the drug has been around for 5 years. Even anecdotally, if we have evidence it helps some patients, that is significantly better than the ‘proven’ alternative – nothing! If I were tested positive, I would demand the drug. Probably why hospital employees are actively taking it as a prophylactic.

    Or we could tell the patient – this might work. If you’re alive at the end of the year once we have done a scientific, controlled study approved by the FDA, then we’ll call you and let you know if you can take it…

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