This Tuesday, the Brazilian authorities confirmed that the eldest son of Jair Bolsonaro, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, it also tested positive of coronavirus and like his father is being treated with hydroxychloroquine. Brazilian president has defended this controversial drug over and over again, which was now known the largest study on its safety done so far. And the results were not positive: used with azithromycin, it was linked to significant cardiovascular risks, including mortality.
The study was conducted by the Observational Health Data Sciences group at Columbia University and published in the scientific journal Lancet Rheumatology. It was examined more than 950,000 hydroxychloroquine users using unidentified electronic health records and administrative claims data over a 20-year period. Records were collected from 14 different databases spanning six nations (Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States).
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, treatment with hydroxychloroquine in the short term (30 days) did not carry an excessive risk of complications associated with its use, but long-term hydroxychloroquine treatment had a 65% relative increase in cardiovascular-related mortality compared to sulfasalazine, a similar drug for rheumatoid arthritis.
But hydroxychloroquine in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, which was used at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, had a risk of cardiovascular mortality more than double (2,19) than comparative treatment, even in the short term, according to the results of more than 320,000 users of this combined therapy. This treatment also resulted in a 15% to 20% increase in the rate of angina / chest pain and heart failure.
Hydroxychloroquine, a drug commonly used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, received early attention during the pandemic as possible treatment of covid-19, although later the World Health Organization lowered its thumb. The short-term safety profile did not identify an excess risk in any of the 16 serious adverse events compared to a similar arthritis drug, sulfasalazine. But long-term hydroxychloroquine treatment was associated with a 65% increase in cardiovascular mortality compared with sulfasalazine.
“Hydroxychloroquine, both alone and in combination with azithromycin, received strong consideration as a possible treatment for covid without a large-scale study of its overall safety profile. We had access to an unprecedented amount of data on this drug, and we were relieved that we found no worrisome side effects from short-term use of hydroxychloroquine. However, when prescribed in combination with azithromycin, can lead to heart failure and cardiovascular mortality, so we urge prudence in the use of both “, explains one of the study’s authors, the Spaniard Daniel Prieto-Alhambra.
Source: Europa Press