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Coronavirus Drug: French Researcher Reports Successful Trial Using Malaria Medicine

Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread

Postby smix » Tue May 19, 2020 6:15 pm

Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread
Biomed Central Virology Journal

URL: https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/art ... -422X-2-69
Category: Science
Published: August 22, 2005

Description:
Abstract
Background
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.
Results
We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations.
Conclusion
Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.
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Background

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an emerging disease that was first reported in Guangdong Province, China, in late 2002. The disease rapidly spread to at least 30 countries within months of its first appearance, and concerted worldwide efforts led to the identification of the etiological agent as SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), a novel member of the family Coronaviridae [1]. Complete genome sequencing of SARS-CoV [2, 3] confirmed that this pathogen is not closely related to any of the previously established coronavirus groups. Budding of the SARS-CoV occurs in the Golgi apparatus [4] and results in the incorporation of the envelope spike glycoprotein into the virion. The spike glycoprotein is a type I membrane protein that facilitates viral attachment to the cellular receptor and initiation of infection, and angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) has been identified as a functional cellular receptor of SARS-CoV [5]. We have recently shown that the processing of the spike protein was effected by furin-like convertases and that inhibition of this cleavage by a specific inhibitor abrogated cytopathicity and significantly reduced the virus titer of SARS-CoV [6].

Due to the severity of SARS-CoV infection, the potential for rapid spread of the disease, and the absence of proven effective and safe in vivo inhibitors of the virus, it is important to identify drugs that can effectively be used to treat or prevent potential SARS-CoV infections. Many novel therapeutic approaches have been evaluated in laboratory studies of SARS-CoV: notable among these approaches are those using siRNA [7], passive antibody transfer [8], DNA vaccination [9], vaccinia or parainfluenza virus expressing the spike protein [10, 11], interferons [12, 13], and monoclonal antibody to the S1-subunit of the spike glycoprotein that blocks receptor binding [14]. In this report, we describe the identification of chloroquine as an effective pre- and post-infection antiviral agent for SARS-CoV. Chloroquine, a 9-aminoquinoline that was identified in 1934, is a weak base that increases the pH of acidic vesicles. When added extracellularly, the non-protonated portion of chloroquine enters the cell, where it becomes protonated and concentrated in acidic, low-pH organelles, such as endosomes, Golgi vesicles, and lysosomes. Chloroquine can affect virus infection in many ways, and the antiviral effect depends in part on the extent to which the virus utilizes endosomes for entry. Chloroquine has been widely used to treat human diseases, such as malaria, amoebiosis, HIV, and autoimmune diseases, without significant detrimental side effects [15]. Together with data presented here, showing virus inhibition in cell culture by chloroquine doses compatible with patient treatment, these features suggest that further evaluation of chloroquine in animal models of SARS-CoV infection would be warranted as we progress toward finding effective antivirals for prevention or treatment of the disease.
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Results
Preinfection chloroquine treatment renders Vero E6 cells refractory to SARS-CoV infection

In order to investigate if chloroquine might prevent SARS-CoV infection, permissive Vero E6 cells [1] were pretreated with various concentrations of chloroquine (0.1–10 μM) for 20–24 h prior to virus infection. Cells were then infected with SARS-CoV, and virus antigens were visualized by indirect immunofluorescence as described in Materials and Methods. Microscopic examination (Fig. 1A) of the control cells (untreated, infected) revealed extensive SARS-CoV-specific immunostaining of the monolayer. A dose-dependant decrease in virus antigen-positive cells was observed starting at 0.1 μM chloroquine, and concentrations of 10 μM completely abolished SARS-CoV infection. For quantitative purposes, we counted the number of cells stained positive from three random locations on a slide. The average number of positively stained control cells was scored as 100% and was compared with the number of positive cells observed under various chloroquine concentrations (Fig. 1B). Pretreatment with 0.1, 1, and 10 μM chloroquine reduced infectivity by 28%, 53%, and 100%, respectively. Reproducible results were obtained from three independent experiments. These data demonstrated that pretreatment of Vero E6 cells with chloroquine rendered these cells refractory to SARS-CoV infection.

BMC-fig-1.png
Figure 1

Postinfection chloroquine treatment is effective in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV infection

In order to investigate the antiviral properties of chloroquine on SARS-CoV after the initiation of infection, Vero E6 cells were infected with the virus and fresh medium supplemented with various concentrations of chloroquine was added immediately after virus adsorption. Infected cells were incubated for an additional 16–18 h, after which the presence of virus antigens was analyzed by indirect immunofluorescence analysis. When chloroquine was added after the initiation of infection, there was a dramatic dose-dependant decrease in the number of virus antigen-positive cells (Fig. 2A). As little as 0.1–1 μM chloroquine reduced the infection by 50% and up to 90–94% inhibition was observed with 33–100 μM concentrations (Fig. 2B). At concentrations of chloroquine in excess of 1 μM, only a small number of individual cells were initially infected, and the spread of the infection to adjacent cells was all but eliminated. A half-maximal inhibitory effect was estimated to occur at 4.4 ± 1.0 μM chloroquine (Fig. 2C). These data clearly show that addition of chloroquine can effectively reduce the establishment of infection and spread of SARS-CoV if the drug is added immediately following virus adsorption.

BMC-fig-2.png
Figure 2

Electron microscopic analysis indicated the appearance of significant amounts of extracellular virus particles 5–6 h after infection [16]. Since we observed antiviral effects by chloroquine immediately after virus adsorption, we further extended the analysis by adding chloroquine 3 and 5 h after virus adsorption and examined for the presence of virus antigens after 20 h. We found that chloroquine was still significantly effective even when added 5 h after infection (Fig. 3); however, to obtain equivalent antiviral effect, a higher concentration of chloroquine was required if the drug was added 3 or 5 h after adsorption.

BMC-fig-3.png
Figure 3

Ammonium chloride inhibits SARS-CoV infection of Vero E6 cells

Since chloroquine inhibited SARS-CoV infection when added before or after infection, we hypothesized that another common lysosomotropic agent, NH4Cl, might also function in a similar manner. Ammonium chloride has been widely used in studies addressing endosome-mediated virus entry. Coincidently, NH4Cl was recently shown to reduce the transduction of pseudotype viruses decorated with SARS-CoV spike protein [17, 18]. In an attempt to examine if NH4Cl functions similarly to chloroquine, we performed infection analyses in Vero E6 cells before (Fig. 4A) and after (Fig. 4B) they were treated with various concentrations of NH4Cl. In both cases, we observed a 93–99% inhibition with NH4Cl at ≥ 5 mM. These data indicated that NH4Cl (≥ 5 mM) and chloroquine (≥ 10 μM) are very effective in reducing SARS-CoV infection. These results suggest that effects of chloroquine and NH4Cl in controlling SARS CoV infection and spread might be mediated by similar mechanism(s).

BMC-fig-4.png
Figure 4

Effect of chloroquine and NH4Cl on cell surface expression of ACE2

We performed additional experiments to elucidate the mechanism of SARS-CoV inhibition by chloroquine and NH4Cl. Since intra-vesicular acidic pH regulates cellular functions, including N-glycosylation trimming, cellular trafficking, and various enzymatic activities, it was of interest to characterize the effect of both drugs on the processing, glycosylation, and cellular sorting of SARS-CoV spike glycoprotein and its receptor, ACE2. Flow cytometry analysis was performed on Vero E6 cells that were either untreated or treated with highly effective anti-SARS-CoV concentrations of chloroquine or NH4Cl. The results revealed that neither drug caused a significant change in the levels of cell-surface ACE2, indicating that the observed inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV infection are not due to the lack of available cell-surface ACE2 (Fig. 5A). We next analyzed the molecular forms of endogenous ACE2 in untreated Vero E6 cells and in cells that were pre-incubated for 1 h with various concentrations of either NH4Cl (2.5–10 mM) or chloroquine (1 and 10 μM) and labeled with 35S-(Met) for 3 h in the presence or absence of the drugs (Fig. 5B and 5C). Under normal conditions, we observed two immunoreactive ACE2 forms, migrating at ~105 and ~113 kDa, respectively (Fig. 5B, lane 1). The ~105-kDa protein is endoglycosidase H sensitive, suggesting that it represents the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localized form, whereas the ~113-kDa protein is endoglycosidase H resistant and represents the Golgi-modified form of ACE2 [19]. The specificity of the antibody was confirmed by displacing the immunoreactive protein bands with excess cold-soluble human recombinant ACE2 (+ rhACE2; Fig. 5B, lane 2). When we analyzed ACE2 forms in the presence of NH4Cl, a clear stepwise increase in the migration of the ~113-kDa protein was observed with increasing concentrations of NH4Cl, with a maximal effect observed at 10 mM NH4Cl, resulting in only the ER form of ACE2 being visible on the gel (Fig. 5B, compare lanes 3–5). This suggested that the trimming and/or terminal modifications of the N-glycosylated chains of ACE2 were affected by NH4Cl treatment. In addition, at 10 mM NH4Cl, the ER form of ACE2 migrated with slightly faster mobility, indicating that NH4Cl at that concentration might also affect core glycosylation. We also examined the terminal glycosylation status of ACE2 when the cells were treated with chloroquine (Fig. 5C). Similar to NH4Cl, a stepwise increase in the electrophoretic mobility of ACE2 was observed with increasing concentrations of chloroquine. At 25 μM chloroquine, the faster electrophoretic mobility of the Golgi-modified form of ACE2 was clearly evident. On the basis of the flow cytometry and immunoprecipitation analyses, it can be inferred that NH4Cl and chloroquine both impaired the terminal glycosylation of ACE2, while NH4Cl resulted in a more dramatic effect. Although ACE2 is expressed in similar quantities at the cell surface, the variations in its glycosylation status might render the ACE2-SARS-CoV interaction less efficient and inhibit virus entry when the cells are treated with NH4Cl and chloroquine.

BMC-fig-5.png
Figure 5

To confirm that ACE2 undergoes terminal sugar modifications and that the terminal glycosylation is affected by NH4Cl or chloroquine treatment, we performed immunopreipitation of 35S-labeled ACE2 and subjected the immunoprecipitates to neuraminidase digestion. Proteins were resolved using SDS-PAGE (Fig 5D). It is evident from the slightly faster mobility of the Golgi form of ACE2 after neuraminidase treatment (Fig 5D, compare lanes 1 and 2), that ACE2 undergoes terminal glycosylation; however, the ER form of ACE2 was not affected by neuraminidase. Cells treated with 10 μM chloroquine did not result in a significant shift; whereas 25 μM chloroquine caused the Golgi form of ACE2 to resolve similar to the neuraminidase-treated ACE2 (Fig 5D, compare lanes 5 and 6). These data provide evidence that ACE2 undergoes terminal glycosylation and that chloroquine at anti-SARS-CoV concentrations abrogates the process.
Effect of chloroquine and NH4Cl on the biosynthesis and processing of SARS-CoV spike protein

We next addressed whether the lysosomotropic drugs (NH4Cl and chloroquine) affect the biosynthesis, glycosylation, and/or trafficking of the SARS-CoV spike glycoprotein. For this purpose, Vero E6 cells were infected with SARS-CoV for 18 h. Chloroquine or ammonium chloride was added to these cells during while they were being starved (1 h), labeled (30 min) or chased (3 h). The cell lysates were analyzed by immunoprecipitation with the SARS-specific polyclonal antibody (HMAF). The 30-min pulse results indicated that pro-spike (proS) was synthesized as a ~190-kDa precursor (proS-ER) and processed into ~125-, ~105-, and ~80-kDa proteins (Fig. 6A, lane 2), a result identical to that in our previous analysis [6]. Except for the 100 μM chloroquine (Fig. 6A, lane 3), there was no significant difference in the biosynthesis or processing of the virus spike protein in untreated or chloroquine-treated cells (Fig. 6A, lanes 4–6). It should be noted that chloroquine at 100 μM resulted in an overall decrease in biosynthesis and in the levels of processed virus glycoprotein. In view of the lack of reduction in the biosynthesis and processing of the spike glycoprotein in the presence of chloroquine concentrations (10 and 50 μM) that caused large reductions in SARS-CoV replication and spread, we conclude that the antiviral effect is probably not due to alteration of virus glycoprotein biosynthesis and processing. Similar analyses were performed with NH4Cl, and the data suggested that the biosynthesis and processing of the spike protein were also not negatively affected by NH4Cl (Fig. 6A, lanes 7–12). Consistent with our previous analysis [6], we observed the presence of a larger protein, which is referred to here as oligomers. Recently, Song et al. [20] provided evidence that these are homotrimers of the SARS-CoV spike protein and were incorporated into the virions. Interestingly, the levels of the homotrimers in cells treated with 100 μM chloroquine and 40 and 20 mM NH4Cl (Fig. 6A, lanes 3, 9, and 10) were slightly lower than in control cells or cells treated with lower drug concentrations.

BMC-fig-6.png
Figure 6

The data obtained from a 30-min pulse followed by a 3-h chase (Fig. 6B, lanes 2 and 8) confirmed our earlier observation that the SARS-CoV spike protein precursor (proS-ER) acquires Golgi-specific modifications (proS-Golgi) resulting in a ~210-kDa protein [6]. Chloroquine at 10, 25, and 50 μM had no substantial negative impact on the appearance of the Golgi form (Fig. 6B, compare lane 2 to lanes 4–6). Only at 100 μM chloroquine was a reduction in the level of the Golgi-modified pro-spike observed (lane 3). On the other hand, NH4Cl abrogated the appearance of Golgi-modified forms at ≥10 mM (compare lane 8 with 9–11) and had a milder effect at 1 mM (lane 12). These data clearly demonstrate that the biosynthesis and proteolytic processing of SARS-CoV spike protein are not affected at chloroquine (25 and 50 μM) and NH4Cl (1 mM) doses that cause virus inhibitory effects. In addition, with 40, 20, and 10 mM NH4Cl, there was an increased accumulation of proS-ER with a concomitant decrease in the amount of oligomers (Fig. 6B, lanes 9–11). When we examined the homotrimers, we found that chloroquine at 100 μM and NH4Cl at 40 and 20 mM resulted in slightly faster mobility of the trimers (Fig. 6B, lanes 3, 9, and 10), but lower drug doses, which did exhibit significant antiviral effects, did not result in appreciable differences. These data suggest that the newly synthesized intracellular spike protein may not be a major target for chloroquine and NH4Cl antiviral action. The faster mobility of the trimer at certain higher concentration of the drugs might be due the effect of these drugs on the terminal glycosylation of the trimers.
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Discussion

We have identified chloroquine as an effective antiviral agent for SARS-CoV in cell culture conditions, as evidenced by its inhibitory effect when the drug was added prior to infection or after the initiation and establishment of infection. The fact that chloroquine exerts an antiviral effect during pre- and post-infection conditions suggest that it is likely to have both prophylactic and therapeutic advantages. Recently, Keyaerts et al. [21] reported the antiviral properties of chloroquine and identified that the drug affects SARS-CoV replication in cell culture, as evidenced by quantitative RT-PCR. Taken together with the findings of Keyaerts et al. [21], our analysis provides further evidence that chloroquine is effective against SARS-CoV Frankfurt and Urbani strains. We have provided evidence that chloroquine is effective in preventing SARS-CoV infection in cell culture if the drug is added to the cells 24 h prior to infection. In addition, chloroquine was significantly effective even when the drug was added 3–5 h after infection, suggesting an antiviral effect even after the establishment of infection. Since similar results were obtained by NH4Cl treatment of Vero E6 cells, the underlying mechanism(s) of action of these drugs might be similar.

Apart from the probable role of chloroquine on SARS-CoV replication, the mechanisms of action of chloroquine on SARS-CoV are not fully understood. Previous studies have suggested the elevation of pH as a mechanism by which chloroquine reduces the transduction of SARS-CoV pseudotype viruses [17, 18]. We examined the effect of chloroquine and NH4Cl on the SARS-CoV spike proteins and on its receptor, ACE2. Immunoprecipitation results of ACE2 clearly demonstrated that effective anti-SARS-CoV concentrations of chloroquine and NH4Cl also impaired the terminal glycosylation of ACE2. However, the flow cytometry data demonstrated that there are no significant differences in the cell surface expression of ACE2 in cells treated with chloroquine or NH4Cl. On the basis of these results, it is reasonable to suggest that the pre-treatment with NH4Cl or chloroquine has possibly resulted in the surface expression of the under-glycosylated ACE2. In the case of chloroquine treatment prior to infection, the impairment of terminal glycosylation of ACE2 may result in reduced binding affinities between ACE2 and SARS-CoV spike protein and negatively influence the initiation of SARS-CoV infection. Since the biosynthesis, processing, Golgi modification, and oligomerization of the newly synthesized spike protein were not appreciably affected by anti-SARS-CoV concentrations of either chloroquine or NH4Cl, we conclude that these events occur in the cell independent of the presence of the drugs. The potential contribution of these drugs in the elevation of endosomal pH and its impact on subsequent virus entry or exit could not be ruled out. A decrease in SARS-CoV pseudotype transduction in the presence of NH4Cl was observed and was attributed to the effect on intracellular pH [17, 18]. When chloroquine or NH4Cl are added after infection, these agents can rapidly raise the pH and subvert on-going fusion events between virus and endosomes, thus inhibiting the infection.

In addition, the mechanism of action of NH4Cl and chloroquine might depend on when they were added to the cells. When added after the initiation of infection, these drugs might affect the endosome-mediated fusion, subsequent virus replication, or assembly and release. Previous studies of chloroquine have demonstrated that it has multiple effects on mammalian cells in addition to the elevation of endosomal pH, including the prevention of terminal glycosyaltion of immunoglobulins [22]. When added to virus-infected cells, chloroquine inhibited later stages in vesicular stomatitis virus maturation by inhibiting the glycoprotein expression at the cell surface [23], and it inhibited the production of infectious HIV-1 particles by interfering with terminal glycosylation of the glycoprotein [24, 25]. On the basis of these properties, we suggest that the cell surface expression of under-glycosylated ACE2 and its poor affinity to SARS-CoV spike protein may be the primary mechanism by which infection is prevented by drug pretreatment of cells prior to infection. On the other hand, rapid elevation of endosomal pH and abrogation of virus-endosome fusion may be the primary mechanism by which virus infection is prevented under post-treatment conditions. More detailed SARS CoV spike-ACE2 binding assays in the presence or absence of chloroquine will be performed to confirm our findings. Our studies indicate that the impact of NH4Cl and chloroquine on the ACE2 and spike protein profiles are significantly different. NH4Cl exhibits a more pronounced effect than does chloroquine on terminal glycosylation, highlighting the novel intricate differences between chloroquine and ammonium chloride in affecting the protein transport or glycosylation of SARS-CoV spike protein and its receptor, ACE2, despite their well-established similar effects of endosomal pH elevation.

The infectivity of coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV are also affected by chloroquine, as exemplified by the human CoV-229E [15]. The inhibitory effects observed on SARS-CoV infectivity and cell spread occurred in the presence of 1–10 μM chloroquine, which are plasma concentrations achievable during the prophylaxis and treatment of malaria (varying from 1.6–12.5 μM) [26] and hence are well tolerated by patients. It recently was speculated that chloroquine might be effective against SARS and the authors suggested that this compound might block the production of TNFα, IL6, or IFNγ [15]. Our data provide evidence for the possibility of using the well-established drug chloroquine in the clinical management of SARS.
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Conclusion

Chloroquine, a relatively safe, effective and cheap drug used for treating many human diseases including malaria, amoebiosis and human immunodeficiency virus is effective in inhibiting the infection and spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. The fact that the drug has significant inhibitory antiviral effect when the susceptible cells were treated either prior to or after infection suggests a possible prophylactic and therapeutic use.
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Methods
SARS-CoV infection, immunofluorescence, and immunoprecipitation analyses

Vero E6 cells (an African green monkey kidney cell line) were infected with SARS-CoV (Urbani strain) at a multiplicity of infection of 0.5 for 1 h. The cells were washed with PBS and then incubated in OPTI-MEM (Invitrogen) medium with or without various concentrations of either chloroquine or NH4Cl (both from Sigma). Immunofluorescence staining was performed with SARS-CoV-specific hyperimmune mouse ascitic fluid (HMAF) [8] followed by anti-mouse fluorescein-coupled antibody.

Eighteen hours after infection, the virus-containing supernatants were removed, and the cells were pulsed with 35S-(Cys) for 30 min and chased for 3 h before lysis in RIPA buffer. Clarified cell lysates and media were incubated with HMAF, and immunoprecipitated proteins were separated by 3–8% NuPAGE gel (Invitrogen); proteins were visualized by autoradiography. In some experiments, cells were chased for 3 h with isotope-free medium. Clarified cell supernatants were also immunoprecipitated with SARS-CoV-specific HMAF.
ACE2 flow cytometry analysis and biosynthesis

Vero E6 cells were seeded in Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium (Invitrogen) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. The next day, the cells were incubated in Opti-MEM (Invitrogen) in the presence or absence of 10 μM chloroquine or 20 mM NH4Cl. To analyze the levels of ACE2 at the cell surface, cells were incubated on ice with 10 μg/mL affinity-purified goat anti-ACE2 antibody (R&D Systems) and then incubated with FITC-labeled swine anti-goat IgG antibody (Caltag Laboratories). Labeled cells were analyzed by flow cytometry with a FACSCalibur flow cytometer (BD Biosciences). For ACE2 biosynthesis studies, Vero E6 cells were pulsed with 250 μCi 35S-(Met) (Perkin Elmer) for 3 h with the indicated concentrations of chloroquine or NH4Cl and then lysed in RIPA buffer. Clarified lysates were immunoprecipitated with an affinity-purified goat anti-ACE2 antibody (R&D systems), and the immunoprecipitated proteins were separated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
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Hydroxychloroquine induced lung cancer suppression by enhancing chemo-sensitization and promoting the transition of M2-TAMs to M1-like macrophages
Biomed Central Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research

URL: https://jeccr.biomedcentral.com/article ... 018-0938-5
Category: Science
Published: October 29, 2018

Description:
Abstract
Background
Lysosome-associated agents have been implicated as possible chemo-sensitizers and immune regulators for cancer chemotherapy. We investigated the potential roles and mechanisms of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in combination with chemotherapy in lung cancer treatment.
Methods
The effects of combined treatment on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were investigated using cell viability assays and animal models. The influence of HCQ on lysosomal pH was evaluated by lysosomal sensors and confocal microscopy. The effects of HCQ on the tumour immune microenvironment were analysed by flow cytometry.
Results
HCQ elevates the lysosomal pH of cancer cells to inactivate P-gp while increasing drug release from the lysosome into the nucleus. Furthermore, single HCQ therapy inhibits lung cancer by inducing macrophage-modulated anti-tumour CD8+ T cell immunity. Moreover, HCQ could promote the transition of M2 tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) into M1-like macrophages, leading to CD8+ T cell infiltration into the tumour microenvironment.
Conclusions
HCQ exerts anti-NSCLC cells effects by reversing the drug sequestration in lysosomes and enhancing the CD8+ T cell immune response. These findings suggest that HCQ could act as a promising chemo-sensitizer and immune regulator for lung cancer chemotherapy in the clinic.
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Hydroxychloroquine

Postby smix » Tue May 19, 2020 8:08 pm

Hydroxychloroquine
Fulll Measure

URL: http://fullmeasure.news/news/cover-stor ... hloroquine
Category: Politics
Published: May 17, 2020

Description: If you’ve watched the news lately, you might be under the impression that a medicine President Trump touted as a possible game changer against coronavirus — has been debunked and discredited. Two divergent views of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, have emerged: the negative one widely reported in the press and another side you’ve probably heard less about. Never has a discussion about choices of medicine been so laced with political overtones. Today, how politics, money and medicine intersect with coronavirus.



President Trump: Now, it may not work, in which case, hey, it didn’t work.
Sharyl: Studies from China and France sparked early hope that a malaria drug— hydroxychloroquine— might work against coronavirus.
President Trump: And it may work, in which case it’s going to save a lot of lives.
Sharyl: But with President Trump’s first endorsement there was a major media-driven effort to portray hydroxychloroquine as dangerous quackery. The campaign was assisted by an online report in mid-April. It said for sick coronavirus patients treated by the Veterans Administration, hydroxychloroquine did not help and was linked to increased deaths.
Reporter questions at Coronavirus Task Force Briefings: Why are you promoting this drug?
President Trump: I’m not.
Reporter: You come out here every day, right, sir? Talking about the benefits of hydroxychloroquine?
President Trump: I want them to try it.
Reporter: If you’re concerned — this VA study showed that actually more people died that used the drug than didn’t.
Sharyl: Meantime, popular support built around a second medicine: remdesivir. Delivered as an IV fluid in the veins, remdesivir was first developed for Ebola, but never FDA approved. Early tests in coronavirus patients proved no survival benefits but said patients did recover four days faster.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: That the data shows that remdesivir has a clear cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery. This is really quite important.
Tucker Carlson: Donald Trump is for it.
Sharyl: Camps largely divided along political lines. Many right-leaning media figures sided with hydroxychloroquine while the left-leaning press backed remdesivir. Each accusing the other of ignoring real science.
Dr. William O’Neill: I've never seen science politicized in 40 years of practice.
Sharyl: Cardiologist Dr. William O’Neill is a medical director at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan where they’re studying both remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine. Some people in the media are treating hydroxychloroquine as if it's something that's being pitched by charlatans, it's dangerous, and that's been debunked and discredited. What do you make of that?
Dr. O’Neill: I think that's very harmful. President Trump touted it early and so then the media set out to disprove and discredit it without any regard for science. I think those of us that are actually involved in the scientific endeavor feel that there is some value to it and it has to be tested.
Sharyl: Dr. O’Neill says he’s prescribed hydroxychloroquine to help numerous coronavirus patients and saw improvement in all of them. He’s less impressed, so far, by remdesivir.
Dr. O’Neill: There's a lot of hype for the drug. I saw the original new England Journal article study and I saw the Lancet study and to me it's just like a big Ho Hum. I just don't see a big benefit to it.
Sharyl: Adding to the drama and confusion, a draft version of a study was accidentally published last month showing remdesivir did not help most coronavirus patients and caused such serious side effects, 18 test subjects were taken off the drug. Gilead, the maker of remdesivir, did not respond to our interview requests but has said it ended the study because it couldn’t find enough volunteers to take part. On May 1, the FDA seemed to give remdesivir the edge, allowing emergency use for severely ill coronavirus patients at the same time, stepping up cautions against hydroxychloroquine and its sister drug saying they should only be taken in the hospital or as part of a formal study due to reports of “serious heart rhythm problems.”
Dr. O’Neill is now leading a study to find out if hydroxychloroquine can serve a critical role as a medicine to prevent coronavirus. But he says the bad press is making it difficult.
Dr. O’Neill: Now people are scared to use the drug without any scientifically valid concern. We've talked with our colleagues at the University of Minnesota who are doing a similar study, and at the University of Washington. We've treated 400 patients and haven't seen a single adverse event. And what's happening is because of this fake news and fake science, the true scientific efforts are being harmed because people now are so worried that they don't want to enroll in the trials.
Dr. Steven Hatfill: Why are the press running medicine in the United States? This is not right.
Sharyl: Dr. Steven Hatfill is a biomedical scientist who worked on Ebola and studies pandemic responses and medicine. He says there’s an unwarranted campaign against hydroxychloroquine.
Sharyl: You think lives were lost because it wasn't used?
Dr. Hatfill: Yes, lives were lost. He took hydroxychloroquine years ago for malaria and recently, again, to test to prevent coronavirus.
Sharyl: A preventive would mean, if it were to work, that the fear that this comes back before there's a working vaccine, the fear that we have another shutdown ...
Dr. Hatfill: a return to work ... early detection, return to work. Would I give it as a prophylaxis to everybody? No. But for fit, healthy, critical workers going back to work or high risk populations; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ex-smokers, diabetics, obesity ...
Sharyl: Might work for them?
Dr. Hatfill: It might work for them.
Sharyl: A third scientist we spoke to, who says hydroxychloroquine has been unfairly disparaged, is Dr. Jane Orient, head of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. How do you account for the difference in medical and scientific opinion about this drug? Because some people seem so certain that it can be a positive benefit to coronavirus patients, maybe even crucial in the early days, whereas some people are convinced it should absolutely not be used.
Dr. Orient: That's a very good question. But the ones who have the most experience are very enthusiastic about the possibilities. And we do have naysayers that we suspect may have a little conflict of interest because they are so enthusiastic about remdesivir, which is a new drug that hasn't been approved for anything. And that so far is showing a really very equivocal or even negative results.
Sharyl: All three scientists criticized that VA report casting doubt on hydroxychloroquine as little more than a list of cases with crucial details missing. It turns out one author of the report received research funding from Gilead, the maker of remdesivir, including a 247-thousand dollar grant in 2018.
Orient: I think we have to look at the money. There's no big profits made in hydroxychloroquine. It's very cheap, easy to manufacture, been around for 70 years. It's generic. Remdesivir is a new drug that could be very expensive and very lucrative if it's ever approved. So I think we really do have to consider there's some financial interest involved here.
Dr. Hatfill: Some of these decisions did not seem to be rational. And when things, in my opinion that are so clear, the right path to take aren't taken, very often: Money is somehow involved.
Sharyl: When it comes to money, we checked financial ties among experts on the government panel devising coronavirus treatment guidelines— which had the effect of dialing back hydroxychloroquine use and giving an edge to remdesivir. We found that of 11 members reporting links to a drug company, nine of them named relationships to remdesivir’s maker Gilead. Seven more, including two of the committee’s leaders, have ties to Gilead beyond the 11 months they had to disclose. Two were on Gilead’s advisory board. Others were paid consultants or received research support and honoraria. Nobody reported ties to hydroxychloroquine which is now made by numerous generic manufacturers and is so cheap, analysts say even a spike in sales would not be a financial driver for the companies. In the end, politics and money aside, at least some scientists aren’t ready to count hydroxychloroquine out of the coronavirus equation. Even if others already have.
Sharyl: Is it possible that it's not one or the other— that hydroxychloroquine could be used in a certain setting, maybe for preventive if you find out that works, and the other drug could be used in other settings?
Dr. O’Neill: No, Absolutely. I think, I think that it's just still very early in this disease process that we're going to learn lot. There's 600 studies that are being done in the United States right now on Covid to see all sorts of different kinds of infections and combinations. We're going to be a lot smarter at the end of the summer. So I think what I would just say to everybody, just hold your powder.
We wanted to hear perspectives from from Dr. Fauci and Gilead, the maker of remdesivir, but they declined our interview requests. We also contacted numerous scientists who have criticized or are skeptical of hydroxycholoroquine, but they also did not want to be interviewed for this report.
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Sacrificing US Veterans To Own Trump: The Hydroxychloroquine Hit Job

Postby smix » Tue May 19, 2020 11:02 pm

Sacrificing US Veterans To Own Trump: The Hydroxychloroquine Hit Job
CD Media

URL: https://creativedestructionmedia.com/an ... e-hit-job/
Category: Politics
Published: April 22,2020

Description: The coalition of parties that oppose President Trump have taken their fight too far. Trump has proven time and again that the slings and arrows aimed at him are ineffective. But when his opponents begin to harm innocent Americans in an attempt to defeat the president, the time has come for serious retribution. In a study performed by the Veterans Health Administration (VA), the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (Z-pak) to treat COVID-19 was deemed not only ineffective, but associated with a higher fatality rate. The study contradicts several other studies on the controversial subject. To understand why the VA study is not only deeply flawed, but agenda-driven and perhaps criminal, we must look at it closely. A few facts:
* Patients did NOT receive zinc, the element that disrupts coronavirus activity in infected cells.
* The study has not been peer-reviewed.
* The drug combination was administered to 368 patients.
* HCQ-treated patients were predominantly elderly black male veterans with comorbidities (other chronic, fatal diseases). The control group was composed of less compromised patients.
* The comorbidities included heart disease, asthma, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and cancer.
* The study’s author, S. Scott Sutton, specifically states that the study is not a clinical trial.
* Sutton has been paid to author three studies for Gilead Pharmaceuticals, maker of remdesivir, a drug in trials to treat COVID-19.
* Gilead’s stock price has gone up significantly since February, when remdesivir was identified as a potential treatment.
Put bluntly, hundreds of mostly elderly black veterans were used to test HCQ + Z-pak without zinc, the crucial catalyst for a successful treatment. Further, the study’s author is compromised by his association with Gilead, the same pharmaceutical corporation that stands to reap great profits if HCQ is shown to be ineffective.

scott-sutton.jpg

The sticking point? We know HCQ + Z-pak + zinc to be effective, with a cure rate of well over 90% if patients are treated in early onset. Renowned virologist Didier Raoult, MD has demonstrated this in three separate studies, the most recent on a much larger sample size than the VA study, with 1,017 patients. Crucially, the drug regimen is most effective if administered early in the disease cycle, not when a patient is already in the ICU. The stunning results of doing so have been famously demonstrated by Dr. Vladimir “Zev” Zelenko of Monroe, New York. Dr. Zelenko updated his results a week ago and provided a treatment protocol for other doctors to use. He has successfully treated over 700 patients with coronavirus. If Sutton, the VA study author, had given the work of Zelenko or Raoult even a cursory look, he would have known that zinc is necessary for successful treatment. Instead, Sutton proceeded to treat his veteran patients, already in the latter stages of the disease and riddled with comorbidities–with only two of the three necessary drugs. We’ve seen this kind of malpractice before. This month, a Brazilian study on chloroquine’s effectiveness was halted because 11 patients died, seven from a “high-dosage” group and four from the “low dosage” group. The press was breathless: not only does it not cure patients– it kills them! What reporters failed to understand or convey was that even the “low” dosage administered to patients was several times the amount prescribed by doctors such as Raoult and Zelenko. The “low” dosage was 450mg twice a day, and the high dosage was 600mg twice a day. In contrast, the dosage given by Zelenko is 200mg twice a day. That’s 900 or 1,200 milligrams per day vs. the proven, effective daily dosage of 400 milligrams. It’s a reasonable conclusion that the Brazilian study was botched deliberately. Intentional overdose. Why? Chloroquine has been used widely for over 50 years. The FDA has approved its use to fight COVID-19. We know a lot about the drug. And as with almost anything–including water–too much of it can be fatal. Look to the Mayo Clinic’s dosage advice for the use of chloroquine when treating malaria: prophylactically (i.e., for prevention)–500mg once weekly. For treatment of malaria, 1,000mg daily for one day, then 500mg daily for two days. That’s it. 3 days of treatment for malaria. The dosages for diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are significantly less. Same when treating a liver infected by protozoa, a particularly intractable condition: 1,000mg daily for two days, then reduced to 500mg daily. The point is, no sane doctor would administer 900mg, let alone 1,200mg daily for 10 days, as the Brazilian researchers did. Worse, the Brazilian and VA studies are part of a pattern of deception. As CDMedia reported on March 27, the first such bogus study was from China, and the media outlet that irresponsibly hyped it? None other than Bloomberg.com, and of course Mike Bloomberg was fresh from folding his failed billion-dollar presidential campaign in humiliating fashion at the time. From the previous CDMedia article on the bogus Chinese study:
Look at the headline: “Malaria Drug Chloroquine No Better Than Regular Coronavirus Care, Study Finds”. This is Fake News, folks. The study that didn’t find chloroquine treatment was “statistically significant”? It involved 30 patients, half of whom were given standard treatment. We have no idea how much of the drug was used in the Chinese study, the duration, or if azithromycin was paired with it. The report on the Chinese study is comical. No discernible data. Further, it’s mostly written in Chinese. I’d sooner trust a fortune cookie..

Rep. Adam Schiff’s claim of seeing “early results” after several month’s worth of larger, peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated the opposite outcome is sad. That he chooses to beat the drum for this small, observational, unreviewed study epitomizes the swamp. Big pharma profits are more important than saving lives. Dunking on a political rival is worth trashing a cure. These people are sick, all right. And they don’t care about saving their constituents unless they themselves benefit. The sad, ugly truths about the swamp continue to come to light. The VA’s awful betrayal of veterans comes on the heels of news that the U.S. National Institute of Health granted $3.7 million to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study viruses in bats. Yes, the very same laboratory long suspected by CDMedia of being the source of the virus outbreak (even some mainstream media outlets admit as much now). And just today, Mike Bloomberg announced that he’ll be heading a “testing and tracing” program for Chinese coronavirus in New York. Forgive me if I pass on Bloomberg-funded globo-scientists getting anywhere near me with a probe, swab or needle. What’s more, the Chinese study didn’t include zinc either. It’s a pattern of media manipulation: bad science in, useful story out. If you still doubt the global push to delegitimize HCQ is real, look no further than the precise coordination of the narrative within mainstream media. The images in the tweet below came from all the usual sources, at the same late hour of last night, and used identical language. Another example of the inextricability of the globalist agenda from mass media.



Chloroquine And The Unforgivable Lies Of Big Pharma, Media, And Democrats
CD Media

URL: https://creativedestructionmedia.com/an ... democrats/
Category: Politics
Published: March 27, 2020

Description: Where’s the chloroquine? Where’s the drug that showed such promise? Backed by a peer-reviewed study, the one touted by President Trump, the one the FDA was supposed to fast track? From an earlier CDMedia article: The study [Trump] was referring to is from France. A group of doctors from Marseille and Nice, led by Dr. Didier Raoult, published the study on March 17th. Using hydroxychloroquine, and in some cases, azithromycin, all 20 patients treated in the study showed a significant decrease in “viral load,” and in some cases the virus disappeared entirely. From the abstract of the French study:
A recent controlled clinical study conducted by Didier Raoult MD/PhD, et al. in France has shown that 100% patients who received a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin tested negative and were virologically cured within 6 days of treatment.
How does it work? Zinc battles the virus in the RNA of affected cells. Zinc is an element, a metal, made of ions. To get the zinc through the cell wall to do its vital work, it needs an ionophore, which is a substance able to transport ions across a lipid cellular membrane. This video explains it brilliantly.



Other anecdotal evidence has shown the dramatic efficacy of the drug. Daniel Dae Kim, known for his work on the television show Lost, tested positive for the virus earlier this month. He credited chloroquine for his quick recovery. Other patients treated with the drug by their private doctors have reported similar experiences. From the New York Post:
Rio Giardinieri, 52, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 that he struggled with horrendous back pain, headaches, cough and fatigue for five days after catching COVID-19, possibly at a conference in New York. Doctors at the Memorial Regional Hospital in South Florida diagnosed him with the coronavirus and pneumonia and put him on oxygen in the ICU, he told the outlet. After more than a week, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do and, on Friday evening, Giardinieri said goodbye to his wife and three children…Then a friend sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, a prescription drug that’s been used to treat malaria for decades and auto-immune diseases like lupus. Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug…“And I said, ‘Look, I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning,’ because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore,” Giardinieri continued. “He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”…[W]hen he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was “like nothing ever happened.”…“To me, there was no doubt in mind that I wouldn’t make it until morning,” said Giardinieri. “So to me, the drug saved my life.”

Even Elon Musk of Tesla fame is on board with chloroquine. So what’s the hold up?
Three Reasons Chloroquine Gets Shafted
1. MSM and Dem politicians are loath to give Trump a win
2. Big Pharma wants their pound of flesh
3. The FDA is still a big, corrupt bureaucracy
No kidding. It’s that basic. Forget the sanctity of life. It’s about money and politics.
MSM Cites…China?
The Bloomberg news service has gone out of its way to trash chloroquine. Read this article–the bias and outright dishonesty is transparent. Forced to admit the existence of the French study, the authors deem it “controversial,” “interesting,” and “far from definitive.” The Bloomberg authors choose as a rebuttal–get this–a small CHINESE study that concluded that chloroquine is no more effective than standard treatment. Look at the headline: “Malaria Drug Chloroquine No Better Than Regular Coronavirus Care, Study Finds”. This is Fake News, folks. The study that didn’t find chloroquine treatment was “statistically significant”? It involved 30 patients, half of whom were given standard treatment. We have no idea how much of the drug was used in the Chinese study, the duration, or if azithromycin was paired with it. The report on the Chinese study is comical. No discernible data. Further, it’s mostly written in Chinese. I’d sooner trust a fortune cookie. Theories: Mike Bloomberg has his knickers in a twist over the drubbing he took in the Democratic primaries, and he’s pumping out disinformation through his media platform. Or perhaps he has invested in a company that is working on a vaccine, one that can reap big profits. Such a scheme would implicate him even further. It would certainly explain Bloomberg’s chloroquine coverage, which dates back several weeks. Among other articles, “The Search for New Drugs for Coronavirus Faces Long Odds” Bloomberg on March 5th. The most likely reason is good old politics. If Trump were to step up and beat this virus down quickly, it would be disastrous to Democrats. They will oppose him vigorously. If you don’t believe this is a political football, consider that two Democrat governors have recently banned the use of chloroquine in their states despite having no personal medical experience or expertise. Two days ago, Steve Sisolak of Nevada issued a ban, and he was joined yesterday by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Democrat governors aren’t taking action to discourage people from eating aquarium cleaner tablets like the Arizona man who died four days ago. If you’re dumb enough to eat from a box marked “POISON: do not ingest”, you’re not long for this world anyway. No, they’re casting shade on a potential cure. Shameless agenda hustling won’t save lives, and may well cost many more.
Big Pharma Money Grab (with help from MSM)
The CBS news program 60 Minutes produced a piece on potential cures for coronavirus, titled “Inside the Race for a Vaccine to Prevent COVID-19”. I watched it intently, as it came well after CDMedia’s reporting on the subject, as well as after President Trump’s mention of the drug in a press conference. To me, this was the litmus test of how MSM would treat chloroquine. It was mentioned in exactly one sentence that took five seconds to speak. It couldn’t have been more obvious that the producer’s instructions were not to speak of the cheap, already approved, and widely available drug, the new c-word, chloroquine. The full 13-minute segment is not yet available online. It focused on three competing labs, the CBS reporter fawning over their respective work. Someone has to put a friendly face on the wildly profitable drug industry. Who better than America’s oldest weekly news program?
The FDA: A Behemoth Bureaucracy (and all that goes with it)
Consider the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA was formed in 1906. It’s an agency of another big bureaucracy, the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Its oversight is vast.
The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs (medications), vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices (ERED), cosmetics, animal foods & feed[4] and veterinary products.

Like most bureaucracies, it’s slow. Despite urging on the part of the president, despite all the positive evidence, the FDA is taking its time with their own study. During a pandemic. While people are panicking and dying. I understand the need to get it right, and the FDA has approved chloroquine for off-label use by private doctors. That’s a good first step. But where’s the mass production and distribution? India, a large producer of the drug, has banned the export of chloroquine or any of its ingredients. It’s a telling move. India wants as much as possible once their outbreak spikes upward. They know it works. Fauci is derelict in his duty. He should take steps toward a cure now, even if, for some reason, the chloroquine/ azithromycin cocktail isn’t ultimately the silver bullet for everyone. I believe it is this issue that lies at the heart of the alleged friction between Fauci and Trump. At worst, we know it’s more effective than standard treatment options currently available. At best, we halt or greatly diminish the number of coronavirus deaths. Death drives panic, panic shuts down countries. Shame on Bloomberg, shame on Big Pharma, and shame on the FDA.
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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Says Hydroxychloroquine Critics Are 'Fear Mongering'

Postby smix » Wed May 20, 2020 9:01 pm

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Says Hydroxychloroquine Critics Are 'Fear Mongering'
CBN News

URL: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2 ... -mongering
Category: Politics
Published: May 20, 2020

Description: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is defending the president for his decision to take the allegedly controversial drug Hydroxychloroquine in order to prevent COVID-19. She points out it's a drug that's been used safely for many other conditions and says the media is "fear-mongering" with their portrayals when it's regularly and safely prescribed by doctors.
David Brody: "Hydroxychloroquine. What do you know, I said it correctly. Hydroxychloroquine. I know the media is dinging him up on this. You talked a little bit about it earlier on Fox and Friends and some other places. But just so I understand, how comfortable is the President with doing this, and did the doctor specifically prescribe it for him? Just trying to understand correctly."
Kayleigh McEnany: "Yes, the doctor did prescribe it for him. And he took it after having several discussions with Dr. Conley about its efficacy. And he believed, Dr. Conley, that the benefits outweigh the risks for the President. And, you know, hydroxychloroquine it's worth mentioning is a, a drug that has been approved for at least three other conditions. Malaria is one of them as a prophylaxis. I had someone in my office say, oh, I've taken this drug several times ahead of me going to trips in places where there were Malaria-heavy areas. Lupus is another example. So this is a drug that is out there that has been shown to be safe with these conditions. And, you know, there was issued an emergency use authorization to use this as, essentially like a right-to-try, so if you're someone who has this, who's looking for a therapeutic, who has COVID and is looking for a therapeutic, Hydroxychloroquine is something some doctors professed optimism about. We know it's approved for other uses. So you know, you do have a right to try it, in essence, to reflect on the language of the President's previous legislation that gives people the right to try and the waning days of their life or when they're facing a fatal illness."
David: "Do you think the media is blowing it out of proportion? You've got Neil Cavuto and Joe Scarborough and China, quite frankly, calling it witchcraft. 'The President is doing witchcraft from the oval office.'"
Kayleigh McEnany: "It's so unfortunate when you turn on the headlines or turn on the TV in the morning, as I did this morning, watching a certain network and to hear just complete misinformation about Hydroxychloroquine, suggesting that it could be fatal for someone should they take it. And when in fact, there are millions of Americans who take it for Arthritis, for example. Yes, it should always be something that's prescribed in the context of a doctor-patient. No one should be taking this drug if not prescribed by a doctor, it's very important to say that. Only your doctor can say that this is for you and prescribe it to you. But nevertheless, to completely act as if this is some sort of poison when there are many, many Americans and many people around the world taking this for Lupus and other illnesses, it just does more harm than good. That kind of fear-mongering, that kind of misinformation. So it's frustrating to turn it on and to see that because it ultimately is very damaging."
David Brody: "The criticism would be that the FDA, the government, if you will, federal government only recommends that it be taken in a hospital setting. So what's the reaction, the pushback about that criticism?"
Kayleigh McEnany: "So I talked to Dr. Hahn about that this morning from the FDA. Dr. Hahn said first, this is a drug that has a long safety profile. It should always be prescribed from a doctor to a patient, but it has been shown to be safe and I explicitly asked him, what about outside of hospitals? And he said, Yes, it's okay. If a doctor prescribes to you at your ordinary point of care, that is an acceptable way to go about this. I think what is being mistaken is the fact that there was a safety notification put out, based on a study that was not a clinical study. It was not a VA study either, but it was based on fatalities in the VA. And basically, it didn't take into account co-morbidities. But it did ask questions about Hydroxychloroquine. And they did put out a safety notice, as the FDA regularly does about studies, but nevertheless, it's still out there. It's still something that FDA stands behind as saying, if you are in a situation where you're prescribed by your doctor is something that you can use and have access to. So, you know, there's a lot of nuances, but those nuances are all too often left out of the coverage."
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Chris Cuomo took ‘less safe version’ of hydroxychloroquine, McEnany says

Postby smix » Thu May 21, 2020 5:08 pm

Chris Cuomo took ‘less safe version’ of hydroxychloroquine, McEnany says
New York Post

URL: https://nypost.com/2020/05/20/chris-cuo ... e-mcenany/
Category: Politics
Published: May 20, 2020

Description: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany took on Chris Cuomo on Wednesday, saying that while he “mocked” President Trump for taking hydroxychloroquine, the CNN anchor took a less safe version of the drug himself. “You had Chris Cuomo saying the president knows that hydroxychloroquine is not supported by science, he knows it has been flagged by his own people and he’s using it,” McEnany said at a White House press briefing. “Cuomo mocked the president for this” but “it turns out that Chris Cuomo took a less safe version of it called quinine, which the FDA removed from the market in 2006 because it had serious side effects, including death. So really interesting to have that criticism of the president.” The CNN host’s wife, Cristina Cuomo, who also came down with coronavirus, detailed his daily health regimen to treat COVID-19 in an article for her wellness publication Purist. She wrote that his daily intake included “Potentized quinine (OXO); it’s derived from the nontoxic bark of Peruvian-grown quinine plants. It is a natural antibiotic (it’s being used in India with very good results). This is not on the market here; Dr. Lancaster has made this in her lab for 40 years, and I took this for my Lyme. (The medicine Plaquinol, which many doctors are using for COVID-19 is similar to quinine, but it has negative side effects.)” By contrast, McEnany said, hydroxychloroquine is “a drug that has been in use for 65 years for lupus, arthritis and malaria. It has a very good safety profile.” Trump disclosed Monday that he’s taking the drug to protect against contracting COVID-19. He previously touted anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness. A medication guide posted on the FDA’s website says the drug quinine sulfate “may cause problems with your heart rhythm that can lead to death” and “may cause your blood cell (platelet) count to drop causing serious bleeding problems. In some people, serious kidney problems can happen.” In 2006, the FDA warned against off-label use of the drug to treat leg cramps, writing, “Fatalities and renal insufficiency requiring hemodialysis have been reported.” McEnany defended Trump’s use of the fellow anti-malaria drug. “No one should be taking this without a prescription from their doctor, but that being said, I’ve seen a lot of apoplectic coverage of hydroxychloroquine. You had Jimmy Kimmel saying the president’s ‘trying to kill himself’ by taking it, you had Joe Scarborough saying, ‘This will kill you.’ Neil Cavuto saying, ‘What have you got to lose? One thing you have to lose are lives,’ ” she said. A Brazilian study of the effectiveness of a related drug, chloroquine, ended early in April after determining that high doses of the drug caused heart problems. On Monday night, Chris Cuomo questioned whether Trump truly was taking hydroxychloroquine, saying he believed it was “a beautiful distraction” that “speaks to optimism” about reopening the country. But McEnany countered that Chris Cuomo’s brother, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “has several on-the-record statements about hydroxychloroquine,” including that “I’m an optimist, I’m hopeful about the drug and that’s why we’ll try it here in New York.”



Florida man with coronavirus says drug touted by Trump saved his life
New York Post

URL: https://nypost.com/2020/03/22/florida-m ... -his-life/
Category: healthNews
Published: March 22, 2020

Description: A Florida man diagnosed with coronavirus claims he was saved from certain death by an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump. Rio Giardinieri, 52, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 that he struggled with horrendous back pain, headaches, cough and fatigue for five days after catching COVID-19, possibly at a conference in New York. Doctors at the Memorial Regional Hospital in South Florida diagnosed him with the coronavirus and pneumonia and put him on oxygen in the ICU, he told the outlet. After more than a week, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do and, on Friday evening, Giardinieri said goodbye to his wife and three children. “I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging,” Giardinieri said. “I really thought my end was there.” Then a friend sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, a prescription drug that’s been used to treat malaria for decades and auto-immune diseases like lupus. Overseas studies have found it to be promising as a treatment for COVID-19, though it hasn’t been approved by health officials. Trump last week said he was instructing the FDA to fast-track testing of hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, as treatment for COVID-19. Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug. “He gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there’s no testing, it was not something that was approved,” said Giardinieri. “And I said, ‘Look, I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning,’ because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore,” Giardinieri continued. “He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.” After about an hour after taking the pills, Giardinieri said, it felt like his heart was beating out of his chest and, about two hours later, he had another episode where he couldn’t breathe. He says he was given Benadryl and some other drugs and that when he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was “like nothing ever happened.” He’s since had no fever or pain and can breathe again. Giardinieri said doctors believe the episodes he experienced were not a reaction to the medicine but his body fighting off the virus. Giardinieri, the vice president of a company that manufactures cooking equipment for high-end restaurants in Los Angeles, said he had three doses of the medicine Saturday and is hoping to be discharged from the hospital in five days. “To me, there was no doubt in mind that I wouldn’t make it until morning,” said Giardinieri. “So to me, the drug saved my life.”



NYC Councilman Paul Vallone credits Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 recovery
New York Post

URL: https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/nyc-counc ... -recovery/
Category: healthNews
Published: August 8, 2020

Description: A Democratic New York City Councilman says hydroxychloroquine saved his life after a near-fatal run-in with COVID-19 in March. Paul Vallone, who represents northeast Queens, took the drug along with a standard Z-pack — given for bacterial infections — and came back from the brink almost immediately.

paul-vallone.jpg

“I couldn’t breathe, very weak, couldn’t get out of bed. My doctor prescribed it. My pharmacy had it. Took it that day and within two to three days I was able to breathe,” Vallone told The Post. “Within a week I was back on my feet.” Though Vallone went public with his coronavirus diagnosis in an April 1 Twitter post, saying he was experiencing “mild symptoms,” his actual condition was considerably more severe. Vallone’s initial prognosis was particularly grim, as he also suffers from sarcoidosis, an auto-immune disease that attacks his lungs. “We were in panic mode when I went down because I didn’t have a lot of immune response,” he said. “I needed something to stay alive.” Hydroxychloroquine “worked for me.” Vallone’s brother Peter, a former City Councilman and a current civil court judge in Queens, also became a convert after his brother’s illness. “I guess all those doctors who are prescribing it are right. This drug is already on the market and the patent is up so it’s cheap. A new drug won’t be. So big money does not want this drug to be used. Always follow the money,” Peter Vallone said in a May 12 Facebook post, sharing a link to an NYU study touting the drug. “[It] saved my life,” Paul Vallone said in the comments. Hydroxychloroquine, a Malaria medication which has been on the market since 1955, came back into the spotlight this year as a potential pandemic miracle cure. President Trump has frequently touted the drug and even took it himself for a time to help ward off the virus — and has been criticized for it. “You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers before you catch it. The frontline workers — many, many are taking it,” Trump said in May. The drug has proven controversial. In June, the Food and Drug Administration declared hydroxychloroquine “unlikely to be effective in treating #COVID19.” Scientific studies about the drug’s efficacy have been mixed. Paul Vallone, however, remains grateful for the president’s advocacy. “At that time, there was only fear and panic, he offered hope in a possible treatment when there was none. With my sarcoidosis and then my COVID symptoms, It basically saved me. For that my family will always be thankful,“ he said.
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You Okay, Fredo? McEnany Slams Cuomo, Lefty Journalists Bashing Hydroxychloroquine

Postby smix » Fri May 22, 2020 12:10 am

You Okay, Fredo? McEnany Slams Cuomo, Lefty Journalists Bashing Hydroxychloroquine
MRC NewsBusters

URL: https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/cu ... ts-bashing
Category: Politics
Published: May 20, 2020

Description: After the recent liberal media meltdown over hydroxychloroquine, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tore apart their hysteria in Wednesday’s briefing. In particular, she took aim at CNN host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo for taking the more-dangerous quinine during his coronavirus bout. And seeing as how deranged corners of the liberal media have been seemingly rooting for the drug to fail, it was time someone --- anyone --- called out their nonsense. NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker must have thought she had painted McEnany into a corner when she asked why should President Trump “continue to say that many or thousands of frontline workers are using it” even though the far-left American Nurses Association has said they haven’t seen “reports from nurses or other frontline health care workers utilizing hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment.” McEnany first brought up two hospitals conducting studies with health care workers taking hydroxychloroquine as a way of suggesting that, if this drug is deadly and awful like the liberal media have claimed, why are there studies being done? She also cited its “very good safety” profile and 65-year history as a treatment “for lupus, arthritis, and malaria” before making the most important point (and one the administration has made very clear): “As with any drug and as with any prescription, it should be given by a doctor to a patient in that context, so no one should be taking this without a prescription from their doctor.” Along with Cuomo’s hypocrisy, McEnany cited liberal media hot takes about Trump taking the drug along with Fredo’s hypocrisy:
But that being said, I've seen a lot of apoplectic coverage of hydroxychloroquine. You had Jimmy Kimmel saying the president's “trying to kill himself by taking it.” You had Joe Scarborough saying, “this will kill you.” Neil Cavuto saying “what have you got to lose? One thing you have to lose are lives.” And you had Chris Cuomo saying “the president knows that hydroxychloroquine is not supported by science. He knows that has been flying --- flagged by his own people and he's using it.” Well, Cuomo mocked the President for this and interestingly I found this just before coming here. Hydroxychloroquine, of course, is an FDA-approved medication with a long-proven track record for safety and it turns out that Chris Cuomo took a less-safe version of it called quinine which the FDA removed from the market in 2006 because of its serious side effects, including deaths, so really interesting to have that criticism of the President.

McEnany then used Fredo’s nonsense to cite a smattering of quotes from his brother/New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) praising hydroxychloroquine and invited journalists to share them. Welker pushed back by asking for whether these frontline workers “believe it actually will” protect them, but McEnany pulled out successful studies from France and South Korea before reiterating the point that the liberal media have ignored out of either deception or ignorance in this entire kerfuffle:
This is a safe drug to use….and your doctor prescribes it for your use as a prophylaxis or after coming into contact with COVID, then it's something you should take if it's prescribed by the doctor and that's your personal medical choice.






Univision Anchor Silenced In-House MD After Saying Hydroxychloroquine IS Used Preventively
MRC NewsBusters

URL: https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/latin ... e-revealed
Category: Politics
Published: May 21, 2020

Description: The nation's Spanish-speaking networks are increasingly desperate to push their coronavirus panic-porn morning, day and night. As of late, they’ve become fixated with President Trump's admission of taking hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis. As can be expected, sarcasm and skepticism about the treatment pervaded the airwaves, with the nets' anchors insisting that the drug is ineffective against the coronavirus and that it is life-threatening- only to be contradicted by one of their own: Univision's resident cardiologist, Dr. Juan Rivera. Watch the Latino nets anchors demean the President for taking the drug preventively, and how host Borja Voces, of Univision's Digital News Edition, gets ruffled up and abruptly ends an interview with Dr. Juan, when the latter admits to the widespread use of hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of COVID-19:
JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ: President Trump announced yesterday that he is consuming, that he decided to take hydroxychloroquine. (....) This can put at risk those who follow advice from non-health professionals such as the President of the United States. (....)
PAULINA SODI: And here you have to pay close attention because even though President Donald Trump has decided to take hydroxychloroquine, please be very careful and do not self-medicate. (....)
JOSE DIAZ BALART: Its effectiveness against coronavirus and its prevention are unproven (....)
JAVIER VEGA: The president has rejected the warnings of his own government. (....)
DIAZ BALART: And doctor, we just heard the president say that he is taking hydroxychloroquine. Can it be taken preventively? (....)
DR. FELIPE LOBELO: It is something that is not to be taken as prophylaxis. (....)
DR. JUAN RIVERA: Borja, I'm honest with you. I know doctors who are also using it preventively. (....)
RIVERA: We doctors believe that treatments should start as soon as possible ---
BORJA INTERRUPTS: If it works it can be valid
DR. JUAN: 000 so I would have that conversation ---
BORJA [CUTTING INTERVIEW SHORT]: But there's your opinion on the preventive way President Trump is using it.

To no one's surprise, CNNEE anchor Juan Carlos Lopez editorialized his coverage by declaring that following the advice of non-health professionals, such as the president of the United States, “can put those who follow their advice at risk.” If his comment were to be taken seriously, then he, as well as everyone else in the media shelving out medical advice, should keep their unsolicited medical opinions to themselves. Only Univision's Dr. Juan had the sense to stray off the talking points and say what all the others condemn: that hydroxychloroquine is widely used by healthcare professionals in order to protect themselves and their patients from being infected by the coronavirus, of ourse, with medical clearing and supervision.
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Toll climbs to 9, cops on HCQS spared the worst

Postby smix » Fri May 22, 2020 2:54 am

Toll climbs to 9, cops on HCQS spared the worst
Times of India

URL: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cit ... 845670.cms
Category: healthNews
Published: May 20, 2020

Description: MUMBAI: More than half of the 10,000 policemen in the city who were to be given a prophylaxis drug meant to prevent Covid, which has claimed nine lives in the police force and affected 618 policemen in the city so far, refused to take it. Around 10,000 policemen over the age of 40 years were to be given the drug, hydroxychloroquine sulphate (HCQS), which was cleared by the ICMR as a drug with the potential to prevent a novel coronavirus infection. “However, only 4,500 of the policemen are taking the medicine diligently,” said Dr Sanjay Kapote of Apollo Clinics, who arranged for the tablets and their distribution across the police stations. There has been concern over the growing mortality among the police force even though many received HCQS and protective gear. The latest victim is a 50-year-old head constable, attached with the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) at Nagpada, who tested positive after his death on May 17. He was diabetic and was down with typhoid. This takes the toll of police personnel who have died in Mumbai in the last 25 days to nine. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, an assistant commissioner of police from the western suburbs tested positive for Covid-19 and has been hospitalised. Three officers attached to Samta Nagar police station in Kandivli (E) have also tested positive. Dr Kapote said there was no mortality among the 4,500 policemen who took HCQS in Mumbai. “Although some in this group have contracted Covid, they had a mild attack,” he said.
--
Revised advisory on the use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as prophylaxis for SARS-CoV-2 infection
Indian Council on Medical research

URL: https://main.icmr.nic.in/sites/default/ ... ection.pdf
Category: healthNews
Published: May 22, 2020

Description:
1. Background
The Joint Monitoring Group under the Chairmanship of DGHS and including representatives from AIIMS, ICMR, NCDC, NDMA, WHO and experts drawn from Central Government hospitals reviewed the prophylactic use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the context of expanding it to healthcare and other front line workers deployed in non-COVID and COVID areas, respectively. The National Task force (NTF) for COVID-19 constituted by Indian Council of Medical Research also reviewed the use of HCQ for prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection for high risk population based on the emerging evidence on its safety and efficacy. The NTF reviewed the data on in-vitro testing of HCQ for antiviral efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, safety profile of HCQ reported to the pharmacovigilance program of India, and data on the use of HCQ for the prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection among health care workers (HCWs) and reported its findings as detailed below:
1.1 In-vitro study
At NIV, Pune, the report of the in-vitro testing of HCQ for antiviral efficacy showed reduction of infectivity /log reduction in viral RNA copy of SARs-CoV2.
1.2 Safety Profile of HCQ
The data on assessment of HCQ prophylaxis among 1323 HCWs indicated mild adverse effects such as nausea (8.9%), abdominal pain (7.3%), vomiting (1.5%), hypoglycemia (1.7%) and cardio-vascular effects (1.9%). However, as per the data from the Pharmacovigilance program of India, there have been 214 reported instances of adverse drug reactions associated with prophylactic HCQ use. Of these, 7 were serious individual case safety reports with prolongation of QT interval on ECG in 3 cases.
1.3 Studies on prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection
* A retrospective case-control analysis at ICMR has found that there is a significant dose-response relationship between the number of prophylactic doses taken and frequency of occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in symptomatic healthcare workers who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
* Another investigation from 3 central government hospitals in New Delhi indicates that amongst healthcare workers involved in COVID-19 care, those on HCQ prophylaxis were less likely to develop SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to those who were not on it. The benefit was less pronounced in healthcare workers caring for a general patient population.
* An observational prospective study of 334 healthcare workers at AIIMS, out of which 248 took HCQ prophylaxis (median 6 weeks of follow up) in New Delhi also showed that those taking HCQ prophylaxis had lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection than those not taking it.
2. Eligibility criteria for HCQ prophylaxis
The Advisory earlier issued ( dated 23rd March, 2020; available at: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Advisoryon ... ection.pdf ), provided placing the high risk population (asymptomatic Healthcare Workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19) under chemoprophylaxis with HCQ. In light of all of the above, the Joint Monitoring Group and NTF have now recommended the prophylactic use of HCQ in the following categories:
- 1. All asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in containment and treatment of COVID19 and asymptomatic healthcare workers working in non-COVID hospitals/non-COVID areas of COVID hospitals/blocks
- 2. Asymptomatic frontline workers, such as surveillance workers deployed in containment zones and paramilitary/police personnel involved in COVID-19 related activities.
- 3. Asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases.
3. Exclusion/contraindications
* The drug is contraindicated in persons with known case of:
- 1. Retinopathy,
- 2. Hypersensitivity to HCQor 4-aminoquinoline compounds
- 3. G6PD deficiency
4. Pre-existing cardiomyopathy and cardiac rhythm disorders
* The drug is not recommended for prophylaxis in children under 15 years of age and in pregnancy and lactation.
Rarely the drug causes cardiovascular side effects such as cardiomyopathy and rhythm (heart rate) disorders. In that situation the drug needs to be discontinued. The drug can rarely cause visual disturbance including blurring of vision which is usually self-limiting and improves on discontinuation of the drug. For the above cited reasons the drug has to be given under strict medical supervision with an informed consent.
4. Dosage
- (1)
* Asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases
400 mg twice a day on Day 1, followed by 400 mg once weekly for next 3 weeks; to be taken with meals
- (2)
* All asymptomatic healthcare workers involved in containment and treatment of COVID-19 and asymptomatic healthcare workers working in non-COVID hospitals/non-COVID areas of COVID hospitals/blocks
* Asymptomatic frontline workers, such as surveillance workers deployed in containment zones and paramilitary/police personnel involved in COVID-19 related activities
400 mg twice a day on Day 1, followed by 400 mg once weekly for next 7 weeks; to be taken with meals
5. Use of HCQ prophylaxis beyond 8 weeks [in categories 4 (2) above]
In clinical practice HCQ is commonly prescribed in a daily dose of 200mg to 400mg for treatment of diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus for prolonged treatment periods with good tolerance. With available evidence for its safety and beneficial effect as a prophylactic drug against SARS-COV-2 during the earlier recommended 8 weeks period, the experts further recommended for its use beyond 8 weeks on weekly dosage with strict monitoring of clinical and ECG parameters which would also ensure that the therapy is given under supervision. Based on the available evidence, it has been opined that HCQ is relatively safe, when certain contraindications are avoided, and has some beneficial effect as a prophylactic option.
6.Monitoring
* An ECG (with estimation of QT interval) may be done before prescribing HCQ prophylaxis.
* An ECG should be done in case any new cardiovascular symptoms occurs (e.g., palpitations, chest pain syncope) during the course of prophylaxis.
* An ECG (with estimation of QT interval) may be done in those who are already on HCQ prophylaxis before continuing it beyond 8 weeks.
* One ECG should be done anytime during the course of prophylaxis.



HCQ beneficial as preventive drug: SMS doctors told ICMR
Times of India

URL: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes ... r/76464620
Category: healthNews
Published: June 19, 2020

Description: More than 4,300 healthcare workers including doctors and nurses have been given HCQ to help them prevent the infection as there are high chances of them getting infected while treating Covid patients.
JAIPUR: Sawai Man Singh Hospital was the first to use hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and anti-HIV drugs — Lopinavir and Ritonavir — to treat the first few Covid-19 patients besides using the combination as a preventive drug on others. More than 4,300 healthcare workers including doctors and nurses have been given HCQ to help them prevent the infection as there are high chances of them getting infected while treating Covid patients. “As far as prophylaxis is concerned, more than 4,300 doctors and health works were given HCQ as approved by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) out of which around 45 health persons tested positive and recovered later,” said Dr Sudhir Bhandari, principal and controller, SMS Medical College. The hospital claimed that preventive treatment approach at SMS Hospital has been very rewarding and results of these have been shared with ICMR. “We have used these drugs with perfect scientific background and proven efficacy in SARS Cov-2 Infection and SMS Medical College created a bridge between point of no specific treatment till the specific drug treatment is established. All these drugs were part of solidarity trial by WHO of which SMS Hospital is a centre,” said Bhandari. SMS Hospital was declared as non-Covid hospital on June 1. But before that, it emerged as a role model of management of Covid patients. From the very beginning, 300 ICU beds and more than thousand IPD beds were dedicated for Covid patients. A separate Covid OPD and observation wards for suspects was created at Charak Bhawan. Also, 28 wards were created for Covid patients of different categories. For critically ill patients, Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) was fully equipped with ICU facilities. During the peak of the pandemic, average 500 plus patients were admitted to SMS from asymptomatic category to severe category. Number of faculty was put on floor duty, which included consultants from the department of medicine and anaesthesia. Resident doctors were doing duty in each shift and hundreds of nursing, paramedics and technicians were on round-the-clock duty. Dr Bhandari, who headed the Covid-19 management programme, said like any best centre in the world, the investigations of patients included HRCT Chest, CT pulmonary angiography, ultrasonography of lungs and echo with dopler state was made available at SMS Hospital. “The CT Pulmonary Angiography of Covid-19 patients gave us new insight of pulmonary thrombus being also a cause of critical complications in patients. SMS is geared up with most advanced investigative facilities like assessment of cytokine storm,” he said. All critical patients were also assessed for clotting disorder by D-dimer and many other tests.
How SMS Hospital became learning ground
* Covid Plasma Therapy and Monoclonal Antibodies to critical ill patients with very good results
* Participation of each and every faculty member, resident doctors, nursing and paramedics who wholeheartedly were committed for best of care
* Each and every patient with or without co-morbid conditions was discussed, their management was planned and close monitoring done
* At investigation front, in March first week initial samples of Covid-19 were send to Pune and today SMS has acquired capacity of doing 3,500 tests per day
* SMS Medical College has done over 1,35,000 RT-PCR tests and the capacity per day will be 7,000 in the next two days
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Zinc might boost effectiveness of malaria drug against COVID-19, experts say

Postby smix » Sat May 23, 2020 1:10 am

Zinc might boost effectiveness of malaria drug against COVID-19, experts say
UPI

URL: https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/05 ... 589374701/
Category: healthNews
Published: May 13, 2020

Description: May 13 (UPI) -- Adding zinc to hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin might help the drug combination resolve some COVID-19 symptoms, a study posted online this week said, though experts say the two-drug treatment's benefit is questionable and carries health risks. The findings breathe new life into a treatment regimen that has been touted by political and business leaders even before the results of clinical trials were in, experts said Wednesday. Studies to date have indicated that the combination offers limited benefits at best, with potentially dangerous side effects. "There is currently no highly effective agent for COVID-19 that we are aware of," Dr. Joseph O. Rahimian, an infectious disease specialist at New York University Langone Health and co-author of the zinc study, told UPI. "It may end up that optimal treatment will include multiple agents and that zinc may be a part of a treatment 'cocktail,'" he said. Historically, hydroxychloroquine has been used to treat malaria, while azithromycin is a commonly used antibiotic. Both have been studied in numerous clinical trials since the start of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. To date, research has yielded mixed results. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about "life-threatening" side effects associated with hydroxychloroquine and advised that the drug only be used in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. Still, with nearly 1.4 million Americans infected -- more than 180,000 in New York City alone -- researchers are desperate to find treatments. For the study, which has not been published or peer-reviewed, Rahimian and his colleagues analyzed data from 932 people with COVID-19 treated at New York hospitals. All of the patients enrolled received intravenous hydroxychloroquine -- an initial dose of 400 milligrams followed by twice daily 200-mg. doses for five days -- and 500 mg. of azithromycin once a day. In addition, roughly 400 also received 100 mg. daily of zinc sulfate in the form of a supplement. Taking more than 40 mg. per day of zinc, however, can cause significant side effects, including damage to joint cartilage, according to Xuhua Xia, a professor of biology at the University of Ottawa in Canada, who was not part of the study. The authors found that patients given zinc were 1.5 times more likely to recover from the disease, reducing their need for intensive care and ventilation, compared to those who received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin alone. However, Rahimian emphasized that these findings need to be confirmed in a randomized, controlled trial, which is considered the gold standard for evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a treatment. Zinc, available as an over-the-counter supplement, has long been viewed as an immune-system booster that helps in the development of immune cells -- or antibodies -- and strengthen the body's response to a virus or other pathogen, according to Adrian Gombart, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute. Gombart was not part of the NYU-led study. How zinc bolsters hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, though, isn't exactly clear. Rahimian told UPI that hydroxychloroquine acts as an "ionophore" -- essentially, a transporter -- that "helps get zinc into patients' immune cells." "Nobody knows exactly how this combination works," Gombart said. "There is a suggestion that zinc may influence the replication of coronaviruses ... and that hydroxycholorquine might help zinc get into cells faster and slow virus replication."



Meanwhile, studies focusing on using hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin continue to produce less-than-promising results. One trial, published Monday by JAMA, found the combination wasn't significantly more effective than hydroxychloroquine alone, azithromycin alone or no drug therapy in patients with severe COVID-19. The authors found that 26 percent of patients who received hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin died from COVID-19 or from complications related to the drugs, compared to 13 percent among those who received neither drug. In all, 20 percent of patients given hydroxychloroquine alone ultimately died, as did 10 percent of those receiving azithromycin alone. "Patients were more likely to receive hydroxychloroquine, with or without azithromycin, if they had underlying risk factors for severe illness or more severe illness when they came to the hospital," study co-author Eli Rosenberg, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the State University of New York at Albany, told UPI. "After we statistically accounted for these initial differences, we did not observe a significant benefit of the administered drugs for lowering death in the hospital, but we did observe that hydroxychloroquine taken with azithromycin was associated with significantly elevated levels of cardiac arrest," he said.
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Klobuchar trolls Trump on taking drug that husband used to treat coronavirus

Postby smix » Sat May 23, 2020 8:55 pm

Klobuchar trolls Trump on taking drug that husband used to treat coronavirus
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news ... oronavirus
Category: Politics
Published: May 21, 2020

Description: Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar mocked President Trump on Wednesday about a COVID-19 treatment she believed her husband John Bessler was treated with during his bout with the disease. “Well, I think that I listened to the science there. I believe he did briefly take that drug … or some drug like it, but I think that we have to listen to the science and you have to listen to your doctors with what is going to work in each individual situation,” Klobuchar told SiriusXM's Michael Smerconish on April 7 regarding her thoughts about the debate swirling around hydroxychloroquine since her husband’s illness. “Sometimes, you might have other conditions that make it so you can't take certain drugs. Sometimes your own condition with the virus wouldn't demand. I think people have to look at what works. I believe in science, something this president has been not listening to,” she added.



The Washington Examiner reached out to Klobuchar's office for comment but did not hear back. Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial medication, has been administered to patients for decades but has become a point of political debate after the president first touted it at the beginning of the lockdowns. Trump recently revealed he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic measure to protect him from getting the virus, which caused Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to question his judgment on his health, saying he was too “morbidly obese” to be taking the drug. Klobuchar has made no major remarks about the drug recently, but she did troll the president on Wednesday and mentioned the anti-malarial in reference to one of its side effects.
They say that hydroxychloroquine can lead to hallucinations.

biden-klobuchar.jpg

— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) May 20, 2020

GOP Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly was also diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March, and he told ABC’s The View he was treated with hydroxychloroquine, shocking host Joy Behar who responded, “Wow. I can’t believe anybody with a brain would take that stuff, but you seem like an intelligent guy," she responded. "You’re a representative in Congress. Why would you take that drug? There are terrible consequences." CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, however, who contracted COVID-19 and was critical of the president's use of hydroxychloroquine, was treated with Potentized quinine, according to his wife Cristina. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to Cuomo's criticism saying, "It turns out that Chris Cuomo took a less safe version of [hydroxychloroquine] called quinine, which the FDA removed from the market in 2006 because it had serious side effects,



'Based on bad science': Trump adviser criticizes FDA after new study backs hydroxychloroquine
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news ... hloroquine
Category: Politics
Published: July 7, 2020

Description: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro criticized the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to revoke emergency use authorization for the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine for treating the coronavirus after a study showed the possible benefits of the drug. “The FDA decisions that they made, which I think were precipitous and based on bad science, had a tremendously negative effect on two things,” Navarro told reporters Tuesday, adding that people can no longer take the drug as a prophylactic and that hospitals cannot recruit subjects for clinical trials to test for the drug’s safety and efficacy. Navarro referred to a study published last week by a team at the Henry Ford Health System in southeast Michigan that found the drugs “have an important role to play in reducing COVID-19 mortality.” Researchers reported that 26% of patients not given hydroxychloroquine died, compared with 13% of those who received the drug. The Henry Ford Health System team is now pushing for emergency use authorization from the FDA. “Treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with [the antibiotic] azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19-associated mortality. Prospective trials are needed to examine this impact,” the researchers said. The team’s conclusion runs counter to that of several recent studies showing that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective therapy for the coronavirus and could cause adverse effects to the cardiac system. The FDA revoked emergency use authorization for doctors in hospital settings to give the drug to COVID-19 patients based on mounting evidence that it is not an effective treatment. Navarro, however, said on Tuesday that the FDA’s decision to pull the emergency use authorization based on those studies was ill-advised. President Trump has championed the promise of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 despite early doubts that the anti-malarial drugs could help patients recover faster or prevent healthy people from getting the coronavirus. Navarro said that if the findings from the Henry Ford Health System are corroborated, it’ll prove that Trump “was absolutely right that hydroxychloroquine saves lives.” Dr. Marcus Zervos, division head of infectious disease at the Henry Ford Health System and co-author of the study, cautioned that the results should be taken with a grain of salt. The drug should only be administered in a hospital, and more clinical evidence is needed to back up the team’s findings, he said. “Currently, the drug should be used only in hospitalized patients with appropriate monitoring and as part of study protocols, in accordance with all relevant federal regulations,” Zervos said. Whether the FDA chooses to reinstate emergency use authorization for the drug following the Henry Ford Health System report will be a test of Commissioner Stephen Hahn’s promises that the FDA’s decisions are driven purely by science. The FDA was scrutinized early on for granting emergency use authorization for the drug to be used in hospital settings without clinical proof showing its efficacy after Trump touted its benefits and even admitted to taking it himself.



Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he is using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news ... oronavirus
Category: Politics
Published: July 8, 2020

Description: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is using a controversial anti-malarial drug after receiving a positive coronavirus test. In a video shared on Facebook on Wednesday, Bolsonaro announced he is taking hydroxychloroquine to combat the disease and that the drug is making him feel "a lot better." “Today, I’m a lot better, so certainly, it’s working,” he said before taking a dose of the drug. President Trump has been optimistic about the drug's efficacy in treating those infected with the virus. However, in June, the Food and Drug Administration argued the drug provides no benefit for patients after studying data that suggested it provided no discernible difference in a patient's recovery. Bolsonaro also shared a picture on Twitter of his breakfast with a caption that suggested hydroxychloroquine is a therapeutic remedy available to those battling the disease. "To those who cheer against Hydroxychloroquine, but do not present alternatives, I regret to inform you that I am very well with its use and, with the grace of God, I will live for a long time to come," he wrote.
D- Aos que torcem contra a Hidroxicloroquina, mas não apresentam alternativas, lamento informar que estou muito bem com seu uso e, com a graça de Deus, viverei ainda por muito tempo.

bolsonaro-breakfast.jpg

— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) July 8, 2020




Navarro: Administration sitting on millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news ... hloroquine
Category: Politics
Published: July 29, 2020

Description: President Trump's top trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro said that the government was "sitting on" millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine after the Food and Drug Administration revoked emergency use authorization for the unproven coronavirus treatment. "We're in the middle of a pandemic where over one thousand Americans died today," Navarro said to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday. "One thousand Americans died yesterday. And if you have a medicine that there's relatively little or no downside risk and possible upside, why would you not let the American people have it? And right now the American people really can't have it because I can't ship it to distributors or hospitals, because the FDA doesn't allow it for off-label use, and almost half the states have strict regulators, who won't allow doctors to prescribe.” Navarro has championed the drug as a safe and effective prophylactic for the coronavirus and criticized the FDA's decision, which has it called "precipitous" and "based on bad science." Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial used commonly to treat a range of autoimmune disorders, including Lupus. Its efficacy for fighting the coronavirus is unproven. The administration acquired more than 60 million doses before the FDA restricted hydroxychloroquine's off-label use, amid conflicting study results. Trump said he took the drug for two weeks after coming into contact with a person who later tested positive for the virus.



Hydroxychloroquine works in high-risk patients, and saying otherwise is dangerous
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opin ... -dangerous
Category: Politics
Published: August 12, 2020

Description: As of Wednesday, some 165,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19. I have made the case in the American Journal of Epidemiology and in Newsweek that people who have a medical need to be treated can be treated early and successfully with hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and antibiotics such as azithromycin or doxycycline. I have also argued that these drugs are safe and have made that case privately to the Food and Drug Administration. The pushback has been furious. Dr. Anthony Fauci has implied that I am incompetent, notwithstanding my hundreds of highly regarded, methodologically relevant publications in peer-reviewed scientific literature. A group of my Yale colleagues has publicly intimated that I am a zealot who is perpetrating a dangerous hoax and conspiracy theory. I have been attacked in news articles by journalists who, ignorant of the full picture, have spun hit pieces from cherry-picked sources. These personal attacks are a dangerous distraction from the real issue of hydroxychloroquine's effectiveness, which is solidly grounded in both substantial evidence and appropriate medical decision-making logic. Much of the evidence is presented in my articles. To date, there are no studies whatsoever, published or in pre-print, that provide scientific evidence against the treatment approach for high-risk outpatients that I have described. None. Assertions to the contrary, whether by Fauci, the FDA, or anyone else, are without foundation. They constitute misleading and toxic disinformation. What do you need to know to evaluate these smears against hydroxychloroquine? The first thing to understand is that COVID-19 has two main stages. At the first stage, it is a flu-like illness. That illness will not kill you. If you are a high-risk patient and begin treatment immediately, you will almost certainly be done with it in a few days. When not treated, high-risk patients may progress. The virus then causes severe pneumonia and attacks many organs, including the heart. In this second stage, hydroxychloroquine is not effective. So, if you are told that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work, ask this question: In which patients? Does it not work in those who have just started to have symptoms, or those sick enough to require hospitalization? The second thing to know is that most low-risk patients survive without treatment. Low risk means you are under age 60 and have no chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, have no past treatment for cancer, are not immunocompromised, etc. High risk means you are over 60 or you have one or more of those chronic conditions. High-risk patients need immediate treatment when they first show symptoms. One should not wait for the COVID-19 test result, which can take days and can be wrong. Again, when Fauci and others say that randomized controlled trials show no benefit for hydroxychloroquine, you must ask: In which group of patients? Every randomized controlled trial to date that has looked at early outpatient treatment has involved low-risk patients, patients who are not generally treated. In these studies, so few untreated control patients have required hospitalization that significant differences were not found. There has been only one exception: In a study done in Spain with low-risk patients, a small number of high-risk nursing home patients were included. For those patients, the medications cut the risk of a bad outcome in half. I reiterate: If doctors, including any of my Yale colleagues, tell you that scientific data show that hydroxychloroquine does not work in outpatients, they are revealing that they can’t tell the difference between low-risk patients who are not generally treated and high-risk patients who need to be treated as quickly as possible. Doctors who do not understand this difference should not be treating COVID-19 patients. What about medication safety? On July 1, the FDA posted a “black-letter warning” cautioning against using hydroxychloroquine “outside of the hospital setting,” meaning in outpatients. But on its website just below this warning, the FDA stated that the warning was based on data from hospitalized patients. To generalize and compare severely ill patients with COVID-induced pneumonia and possibly heart problems to outpatients is entirely improper. In fact, the FDA has no information about adverse events in early outpatient use of hydroxychloroquine. The only available systematic information about adverse events among outpatients is discussed in my article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, where I show that hydroxychloroquine has been extremely safe in more than a million users. It is a serious and unconscionable mistake that the FDA has used inpatient data to block emergency use petitions for outpatient use. Further, already back in March, the FDA approved the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine for hospitalized patients, for whom it is demonstrably less effective than for outpatients. If hydroxychloroquine satisfied the FDA criteria for emergency inpatient use in March, it should more than satisfy those criteria now for outpatient use, where the evidence is much stronger. I can only speculate about the cause of the FDA’s recalcitrance. Hydroxychloroquine is an inexpensive, generic medication. Unlike certain profit-generating, patented medications, which have been promiscuously touted on the slimmest of evidence, hydroxychloroquine has no natural financial constituency. No one will get rich from it. Further, it seems quite possible that the FDA, a third of whose funding comes from drug companies, is under intense pressure from those companies to be extremely conservative in its handling of hydroxychloroquine. If hydroxychloroquine is used widely and comes to be recognized as highly effective, the markets for expensive and patented COVID-19 medications, including intravenous drugs that can only be used in the hospital, will shrink substantially. Whatever the reason for the FDA’s stonewalling on hydroxychloroquine, this much is certain: Americans are dying unnecessarily, the economy is in disarray, and the threads that bind our society together have frayed. I am speaking out, but where is everyone else? Where are our elected officials, including those who are themselves physicians? Some, including Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, have been discussing evidence of the drug's effectiveness, but where are the rest? This issue should not be a partisan one. If our elected officials are not willing to pry open the FDA, we must elect new officials. Why are we silent? The time to speak is now.
--
Harvey Risch, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health.



Study finds 84% fewer hospitalizations for patients treated with controversial drug hydroxychloroquine
Washington Examiner

URL: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news ... hloroquine
Category: Politics
Published: November 25, 2020

Description: A peer-reviewed study measuring the effectiveness of a controversial drug cocktail that includes hydroxychloroquine concluded that the treatment lowered hospitalizations and mortality rates of coronavirus patients. The study, set to be published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents in December, determined that “Low-dose hydroxychloroquine combined with zinc and azithromycin was an effective therapeutic approach against COVID-19.” A total of 141 patients diagnosed with the coronavirus were treated with the three-drug cocktail over a period of five days and compared to a control group of 377 people who tested positive for the virus but were not given the treatment. The study found that “the odds of hospitalisation of treated patients was 84% less than in the untreated patients,” and only one patient died from the group being treated with the drugs compared to 13 deaths in the untreated group. Hydroxychloroquine became a controversial issue during the height of the coronavirus pandemic when President Trump championed the drug as an effective coronavirus treatment, which immediately drew criticism from the media and several health experts. Twitter censored a video over the summer showing doctors touting the effectiveness of the drug. Additionally, a July study conducted by the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan concluded that patients taking hydroxychloroquine were more likely to survive the coronavirus.
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President Trump’s Hydroxychloroquine Revelation Stirs Debate

Postby smix » Sun May 24, 2020 4:53 pm

President Trump’s Hydroxychloroquine Revelation Stirs Debate
CBS New York

URL: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/05/19 ... rs-debate/
Category: Politics
Published: May 19, 2020

Description: MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump‘s revelation Monday that he is taking hydroxychloroquine is prompting reaction. CBS2 first told you about an Orange County doctor who may be the one who got the president’s attention with a combination of medications he prescribes. The president’s revelation surprised many. “I happen to be taking it. I happen to be taking it,” Trump said. “I’m taking it. Hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah.” But it didn’t surprise Zev Zelenko, a family doctor from Orange County, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported. “I’m taking this prophylaxis also. I think he is a smart man. He’s in his 70s and he’s exposed to many people, so the risk to him is quite significant,” Dr. Zelenko said. We first told you about him last month. He said he has treated 600 high-risk patients with only two deaths. His combination of meds: Zinc, plus the anti-Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, and, in some cases, antibiotics.

dr-vladimir-zelenko.jpg

“I got a letter from a doctor the other day,” Trump said. “He just said, ‘Sir, I have hundreds of patients and I give them hydroxychloroquine, I give them the Z-Pak, which is Azithromycin, and I give them Zinc.'” “I treat them extremely early in the process,” Dr. Zelenko said. “I’m really glad the president mentioned zinc, because zinc is the virus killer.” Dr. Zelenko isn’t sure the president was talking about him, but he did contact the White House touting the logic of giving zinc plus hydroxychloroquine early, before patients are too sick to benefit. “All hydroxychloroquine does is open up a door, a channel, and lets the zinc get into the inside of the cell,” Dr. Zelenko said. “What we know about zinc is that it’s an antiviral,” said Dr. Avni Thakore of St. Francis Hospital. The cocktail of medications also got the attention of researches at St. Francis Hospital, who launched a clinical trial in the earliest cases, just like Dr. Zelenko’s protocol. There’s no results yet, but they monitor all participants with at-home EKGs, because the drug can cause heart arrhythmia. The so-far unproven treatment, though, has been clouded in politics after studies showed no success in the sickest patients. “The data are really just at best suggestive. There have been cases that show there may be an effect, and others to show there’s no effect,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Zelenko believes the drug should be available early, or before infection, in consultation with a doctor. “This is about humanity. This is about relieving misery and suffering and unnecessary death,” he said. The issue has become so divisive, a leading medical expert — who didn’t want to be identified — said any patient has a right to take an approved medication, but worried the president’s revelation could lead others to do the same, without proper monitoring.



Coronavirus Drug Exclusive: Meet The Doctor Behind The Hydroxychloroquine Treatment, And What’s Next For Its Use
CBS New York

URL: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/04/30 ... -covid-19/
Category: Politics
Published: April 30, 2020

Description: ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – One New York doctor claims to have kept hundreds of coronavirus patients out of the hospital with a cocktail of medications. It’s been criticized as unproven, but now a major hospital in New York is launching a clinical trial based on the treatment, reports CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff. In the village of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a self-described “country doctor,” says a cocktail of medicines keeps his patients alive. Weeks ago, he recorded this message for President Donald Trump: “I’m seeing tremendous positive results. I haven’t sent any patient to the hospital yet, even though I’ve treated hundreds already.” Zelenko prescribes the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine but only when two other substances are added, an antibiotic and zinc.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaSHM1TK5tM

“All the hydroxychloroquine does is open the door and let the zinc in,” said Zelenko, a board-certified family physician. Hydroxychloroquine got the president’s attention, and swiftly got him criticism for touting unfounded cures. “There are people dying,” said Trump at the time. “If it works, that would be great.” It’s Zelenko’s combination of meds given early on when people first get sick that makes his protocol unique. He claims of his 400 patients at high risk for severe illness, only two died. In New York State, though, that’s a Catch-22. To prevent shortages, pharmacists can only dispense hydroxychloroquine for severe hospital-based cases. By then, Zelenko says it’s ineffective. “There is a very narrow window of opportunity where you can hit this virus hard and early where it makes all the difference,” said Zelenko. Now science will weigh in. St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn is launching a study using essentially Zelenko’s cocktail. On newly symptomatic patients with underlying conditions, Hydroxychloroquine and zinc will be given to all of them. Two groups will receive different antibiotics. Cardiologist Dr. Avni Thakore is the study’s principal investigator. “What we know about the mechanism of action of the drugs suggests they could be helpful early in the course of a viral infection,” said Thakore. “We know zinc is an anti-viral. We know that hydroxychloroquine can help reduce an immune response that can get out of control. We also know zinc helps the hydroxychloroquine come inside the cell.” Administered early, rather than as a Hail Mary for the sickest which has had disappointing results, and to protect participants from any increased heart risk that have prompted safety concerns, Thakore notes “we are going to be monitoring their EKG from home.” In all touted treatments, data is first needed, says cardiologist Dr. Alan Kadish, president of Touro College. “All drugs have side effects and we don’t want to treat millions of people with a combination that we don’t know is safe and effective,” said Kadish. “If we can manage this early and control it, and prevent people from getting very sick and hospitalized, that’s where we need to have good data and good science,” said Thakore. Zelenko, who’s offered up his cases for peer review, is hopeful. “This is an absolute revolution in how this disease will be treated,” he said. The study will enroll 750 patients with early symptoms.
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