Saturday, April 18, 2020

Kung Flu - L.A. Times Contributes To The Fog

In this article featured on the Drudge top bar, The L.a.Times announces that neither Chloroquine nor Hydroxychloroquine seem to be contributing much in the fight against the Kung Flu virus. This seemed to be at odds with the many reports that came out early of impressive success using these drugs. The Times cites 3 studies and to their credit, even included links.

Study #1 here, is from France. Here's the summary:
No evidence of clinical efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised for COVID-19 infection and requiring oxygen: results of a study using routinely collected data to emulate a target trial
Here's the takeaway: The patients in this study were all in advanced stages of the disease and required immediate hospitalization and oxygen to survive.

Study #2 is from China.  Some 20+ doctors were involved from as many different organizations. The testing, again, involved patients requiring hospitalization and what was referred to as Standard Of Care. The daily dosages administered went as high as 1200 mg to start and 800mg sustaining. It was noted that while the virus itself was not killed off, symptoms involving blood problems were mitigated. They also noted that there were side effects in some of the patients, most notably diarrhea. As the most common dosage used in the more successful tests is 2 days of 400mg follower by 4 days of 200mg, this seems a bit excessive but heart attacks were not mentioned.

Study #3 from Brazil also involved high doses.
 We found three non-randomized studies with limited sample sizes in which (1) HCQ use led to a decrease in SARS-Cov-2 detected in respiratory secretions five days after treatment, together with azithromycin (France, 36 patients); (2) HCQ use shortened time to clinical recovery (China, 62 patients); and (3) CQ was superior to control treatment in inhibiting the exacerbation of pneumonia, improving lung imaging findings, and promoting virus-negative conversion and shortening the disease course (China, 100 patients). We found no published studies comparing different dosages of CQ/HCQ and their thorough safety assessment.
So the HCQ and CQ both helped shorten hospital stays and improved lung function in the studies that this study covered, but this study had some heart problems show up.
The preliminary findings from CloroCovid-19 trial suggest that the higher dosage of CQ (12 g total dose over 10 days) in COVID-19 should not be recommended because of safety concerns regarding QTc prolongation and increased lethality, in the Brazilian population, and more often in older patients in use of drugs such as azithromycin and oseltamivir, which also prolong QTc interval.
 12g/10 days translates to 1200mg/day or 3-6 times the usual dose. Nasty side effects? Certainly. Also, note that the patients in the test were also in an advanced stage of the disease and required hospitalization.

My Conclusion: If you begin the Q drugs, at standard dosages of 2-400 mg/dy, either one of them, along with an antibiotic, at the earliest stages of the disease, seems to work quire well and will have you back on your feet in about 5-6 days. Some people recommend Zinc. Note that 1-A-Day contains 15mg of zinc. At least the ones I get do.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. I'm just an engineer who read the papers, both the scholarly ones and the LATimes. Feel free to follow the links and tell me what I missed.

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