While unpublished yet, the first patient trial of Plaquenil for COVID-19, conducted in Marseilles, France, has reported encouraging early results. The trial, announced in a video on Monday, was led by Didier Raoult, a physician-scientist who has published on microbes for several decades.
According to a draft article by Raoults team and obtained by me, 36 patients were enrolled in the trial, including 16 infected controls and 20 treated patients. The test group was given 600 mg daily of Plaquenil, which is on the WHOs List of Essential Medicines and has been used for malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
At day three, the study reported, 50 percent of the treated group turned from positive to negative for the COVID-19 virus. By day six, 70 percent tested negative.
As intriguing, of the 20 test patients, six who were treated with both Plaquenil and the antibiotic azithromycin did even better, the team reported. Five of the six, or 83 percent, tested negative at day three. All six, 100 percent, tested negative at day six.
Meanwhile, the control patients largely stayed sick longer. On days three and six, just 6.3 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, tested negative. The research paper did not include how they were alternatively treated.
Raoults findings prompted the French Minister of Health Tuesday to approve expanded treatment trials, with one commencing in Lille, according to France 3, a public television station.
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