New study finds chloroquine doesn’t help COVID-19 patients — and it might even hurt

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A large-scale study suggests chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine don’t help treat COVID-19, and it may even be harmful. Today, peer-reviewed journal The Lancet published a paper analyzing data from thousands of patients who took the drugs. Their outcomes were no better than those of people who didn’t — in fact, they were more likely to die or develop an irregular heartbeat.

The analysis covers a registry of roughly 15,000 patients across multiple continents, all of whom were given either hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, or one of those drugs paired with a class of antibiotics called macrolides. It compares the group with roughly 81,000 patients who were not given the drugs. The results weren’t encouraging. People treated with either drug…

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