France bans hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19 patients
- France has revoked a decree allowing hydroxy to be used as a COVID treatment
- Comes after health minister ordered a review in to the unproven medication
- Large studies have shown it actually increases death rates among patients
- Donald Trump previously claimed to be taking the drug to prevent the disease
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
France has cancelled a decree allowing hydroxychloroquine to be used as a treatment for coronavirus after studies showed it increased death rates in patients.
It comes after the country’s health minister Olivier Véran ordered a review into the drug in light of the new studies.
On Tuesday doctors were told not to use the drug outside of clinical trials, shortly before its use was suspended even within trials.
France has revoked a decree allowing hydroxychloroquine to be used as a treatment for coronavirus after several studies showed it increased death rates in patients (file image)
Now, the country has formally withdrawn a decree allowing its use on coronavirus patients in any setting.
It also comes after Donald Trump claimed to be taking the drug in order to stop himself catching the disease.
The US President said he had been taking it for around two weeks after having a conversation about the risks with his doctor.
On Wednesday last week he said he would finish taking the medication in ‘a couple of days’.
He had previously encouraged people to take the unproven remedy, saying ‘what do you have to lose?’
The medication is typically used to treat malaria and lupus and accumulates in the lungs, leading medics to suspect it could be used for coronavirus.
Donald Trump (left) and Nayib Bukele (right), the president of El Salvador, have both claimed to be taking the drug in order to protect against the disease
However, a study in the British medical journey The Lancet published last week found patients taking the drug had increased mortality rates and higher frequency of irregular heartbeats.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization said it was pausing a large trial of the malaria drug due to safety concerns.
Worldwide studies into the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine began after French medic Professor Didier Raoult claimed to have seen success while giving patients hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic azithromycin.
However, doctors have questioned the value of Professor Raoult’s study, saying it was poorly designed and based on too small a sample to offer evidence of benefit.
The move comes on the same day that the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, revealed he is taking the drug and claimed ‘most’ world leaders are also using it as a preventative measure.
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