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.
Those are the words of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, describing the "twist of fate" that finds us awaiting personal protective equipment, ventilators and pharmaceuticals manufactured -- yes -- in China.
Just when you thought the pandemic of misinformation could not get worse, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, surfaces to add his misinformative spin. His website has two video presentations on suspect therapies for COVID-19. Let's consider them in turn.
If there was any effect of this drug on COVID-19, it was minimal. Hydroxychloroquine, whose toxicity is far lower, may be safer than chloroquine. But that doesn't matter if the drugs are ineffective.