Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is tied to increased risk of death in COVID-19 patients, according to a study published in medical journal Lancet.
The study which observed over 96,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19, showed that people treated with the drug, or the closely related drug chloroquine, had higher risk of death when compared to those who had not been given the medicine.
The Lancet study authors suggested these treatment regimens should not be used to treat COVID-19 outside of clinical trials until results from clinical trials are available to confirm the safety and efficacy of these medications for COVID-19 patients.
The authors said they could not confirm if taking the drug resulted in any benefit in coronavirus patients.
The Lancet study looked at data from 671 hospitals, where 14,888 patients were given either hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, with or without the antibiotic macrolide, and 81,144 patients were not on any of the treatment regimens.