A drug developed over half a century ago to treat malaria is showing signs that it may also help cure COVID-19 — especially when combined with an antibiotic, a promising new study reveals.
Hydroxychloroquine, sold under the brand name Plaquenil — and also used to treat arthritis and other ailments — was determined to be effective in killing the deadly bug in laboratory experiments, Forbes reported, citing findings published March 9 in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.
“(W)e predict that the drug has a good potential to combat the disease,” the study’s authors, most from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, wrote in a letter published in Cell Discovery on Wednesday, according to the report.
Now, French physician-researchers have completed a largely successful clinical trial using the drug — approved for use in the US in 1955 — to treat confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to a study published Wednesday.
A total of 36 patients — including 20 treated individuals and 16 infected controls — were enrolled in the study, led by Didier Raoult, an infectious disease expert from l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire in Marseille.