Last week we took down an article about ivermectin, because of threatening phone calls and emails. Those responses are another sign of the destructive, divisive politicization of scientific discourse. It is another skirmish in the tearing of our national fabric of trust or at least the assumption of goodwill. I have to say something, as a physician and citizen, it is definitely in my lane.
The value of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 patients continues to rise from the ashes of refutation in the medical literature. The latest iteration is a meta-analysis of utilizing the drug early in ambulatory patients' care to lessen the undesirable outcomes of infection, hospitalization, and death. Several of our readers and members of our Board of Scientific Advisors believe that this study is important and that we disregard it at our risk. We are letting a proponent of each side make their case.
In 2020, empirically determined knowledge is only considered true if it first passes a litmus test -- not the geeky pH variety but the obnoxious political one. The results are as absurd and dangerous as you'd imagine, particularly when it involves COVID and cable news.
There was never much evidence in favor of using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a treatment for COVID. Now, a trial involving over 4,700 patients definitively proves that HCQ does not work.
We have made amazing progress in the treatment of COVID-19. Two therapies – steroids and remdesivir – have already been shown to help. Those who benefit from these treatments owe thanks to patients who volunteered to participate in controlled clinical trials, and the physicians and pharmaceutical companies that lead them.
An interview with the editor of The Lancet where he explains those recent retractions. A story of an ecologic problem in the voice of Rudyard Kipling. A query into fishy meanings of a name.
This past weekend at West Point, President Trump had trouble drinking a glass of water and he displayed an unsteady gait when descending a ramp. It is possible these problems indicate some type of neuropathy. And while it's unlikely, one potential cause is hydroxychloroquine.
Perhaps someday a ballad will be written about the tragic tale of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and its ugly cousin chloroquine (CQ). HCQ, a potential (and controversial) therapy for COVID-19 at one time, is no more. The FDA revoked the emergency authorization of both HCQ and CQ. This was an example of how NOT to develop a drug. A lesson learned -- or not.
Now that the paper published in The Lancet, on the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, has been retracted, we need to look at how eminence continues to trump evidence. When we talk about humans and their behavior, everything is political.
Somehow a drug has turned into a political tool. This is nuts. Hydroxychloroquine may or may not end up having any utility as a COVID-fighting drug. But its cardiac toxicity is real, unlike the nonsense surrounding it. Let's stick to the science: Torsades de pointes, not talking points.
Dr. Derek Lowe, arguably the finest and most influential chemistry blogger in the universe, has put together an excellent summary of the complex and confusing clinical data of hydroxychloroquine, which he published recently in his blog in Science and Translational Medicine. We thank Derek and AAAS for allowing us to reprint this important article.
For a simple drug, there sure is a lot of controversy surrounding hydroxychloroquine -- a malaria drug that's one of a handful of repurposed drugs being evaluated as potential anti-coronavirus treatments. However, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) doesn't look especially promising. Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, explains.