Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Health and Wellness: The proposed use of HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) for treatment of COVID-19 (Coronavirus aka SARS-CoV-2)

An article posted in the January 2021 issue of the American Journal of Medicine suggests use of HCQ as part of a treatment regimen for people with COVID-19 - other medical journals contradict this idea

By Bill Gould

There are many meme-type news posts floating around the internet recently, such as this one here to the right. These type of posts often politicize the issue, whatever that issue may be, with inflammatory language meant to cause fear or anger. In this case it is COVID-19 - and it's potential cures, preventative measures and vaccines. 

We are not about the fear and anger life, so we are going to hit you with some facts we found.

For clarity in this case, President Trump had promoted the use of HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine) 'prophylactically' - as a preventative measure. 

As reference to that point, here is a May 2020 WebMD article* written about Mr Trump's statements about taking HCQ and Zinc to prevent a COVID-19 infection. 

In early October 2020, President Trump contracted the virus and was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. His contracting of the virus, although he stated he was taking HCQ as a preventative measure, would further seem to prove HCQs ineffectiveness for the purpose of prevention. 

That said, the AMJMED article suggests that after infection, it could be effective for COVID-19 patients if used earlier in the course of treatment for those aged 50+ (or those <50 with severe symptoms) with one or more comorbidities. It is suggested in this article to be used along with Zinc and Azithromycin (or Doxycycline or Favipiravir) {not all of them at once}. If respiratory symptoms persist, Prednisone and/or Colchicine is suggested in the article. 

Ironically, in the case of the President getting COVID-19, what is known of Mr Trump's treatment at Walter Reed did not include the use of HCQ and Azithromycin. Instead, according to ScienceMag.org, President Trump received Remdesivir, an experimental antibody treatment made by Regeneron. According to Sean Conley, the White House physician, President Trump also received the steroid dexamethasone, zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (Pepcid), melatonin and a daily aspirin.
Further detailed info about Mr Trump's treatment can be found in the ScienceMag.org article.

In contradiction to the AMJMED proposed use of HCQ, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) posted an article titled 'Misguided Use of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19' - where they make the case for NOT using HCQ.

In that article they state:

"...the clear, unambiguous, and compelling lesson from the hydroxychloroquine story for the medical community and the public is that science and politics do not mix. Science, by definition, requires diligence and an honest assessment of findings; politics not so much. The number of articles in the peer-reviewed literature over the last several months that have consistently and convincingly demonstrated the lack of efficacy of a highly hyped “cure” for COVID-19 represent the consequence of the irresponsible infusion of politics into the world of scientific evidence and discourse. For other potential therapies or interventions for COVID-19 (or any other diseases), this should not happen again."

As always, it is best to consult with your primary physician prior to taking any medication, treatment regimen or supplement.

If you feel that you may have contracted the virus, please get tested ASAP and quarantine from others to prevent the spread. Contact your Doctor right away.

If you are into medical writings, here is the link to the AMJMED article: https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(20)30673-2/fulltext

*(In full transparency, yes, this WebMD article was written by my cousin Aaron Gould Sheinin. He is an award winning journalist who has written for WebMD since 2017, after many years writing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other publications.)