COVID-19: HCQ, chloroquine linked to various heart problems

Jerusalem: New research has added to the growing body of evidence that potential Covid-19 drugs hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine are linked to higher rates of various cardiovascular problems.

The study, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, revealed that HCQ and chloroquine were associated with life-threatening heart rhythm events, heart failure, and damage to the heart muscle itself (termed cardiomyopathy).

“Moreover, we show how these adverse events carry high risks for severe outcomes including death, even with standard doses of the drugs,” said study senior author Elad Maor from the Tel-Aviv University in Israel.

For the findings, the research team analysed real-world data from the Food and Drug Administration Adverse Events Reporting System, a global database of post-marketing safety reports.

The researchers found the use of HCQ or chloroquine associated with cardiovascular problems and high rates of severe outcomes.

It should be carefully considered as an off-label indication, especially for patients with cardiac disorders, the study authors wrote.

“The take-home message of our work is that physicians around the world should be careful when prescribing these drugs,” Maor noted.

According to a recent study, published in the journal Lancet Rheumatology, HCQ and azithromycin (AZM) have been linked to significant cardiovascular risks, including mortality.

Last month, a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that HCQ was also ineffective for Covid-19 patients with early and mild symptoms.

Recently, German researchers have said that antimalarial drug chloroquine is not able to prevent infection of human lung cells by the novel coronavirus.

(IANS)

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