Hydroxychloroquine hasn’t worked well in studies for people on death’s doorstep from coronavirus, but most of the optimism about this old drug instead has always been about its potential in earlier phases. From Il Tempo via Google Translate:
APRIL 28, 2020
… What this mechanism consists of is immediately said: the drug by binding permanently with ferriprotoporphyrin (of the Eme group of Hb) removes the substrate from viral proteins and also becomes an important means of prophylaxis. Although there are still no Italian publications on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a “shield” from the virus, among the directors of the infectious disease wards, the specialists, Primaries and general practitioners contacted during this research, many admitted – under a whisper – to use the drug as a “prophylaxis”, that is, to prevent infection. Healthcare professionals who are in close contact with contagious patients take the drug in advance, precisely to decrease the probability of contracting the infection. For now, in support of this “prophylaxis” effect, there is a recent publication, involving 211 people. It was published on the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, the official body of the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Of 211 people exposed to Covid positive 19 and undergoing hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis, none were infected.
Finally, further confirmation of this hypothesis is the data collected in the register of the SIR (Italian rheumatology society). To assess the possible correlations between chronic patients and Covid19, SIR interrogated 1,200 rheumatologists throughout Italy to collect statistics on infections. Out of an audience of 65,000 chronic patients (Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis), who systematically take Plaquenil / hydroxychloroquine, only 20 patients tested positive for the virus. Nobody died, nobody is in intensive care, according to the data collected so far.
A commenter suggests a clever counter-explanation: rather than hydroxychloroquine protecting CV sufferers from these two autoimmune disorders, maybe long-term hydroxychloroquine-takers are actually being protected from CV by their autoimmune disorders?
Theoretically, this question about to be answerable in about 48 hours from datamining big patient databases, since not all lupus or RA patients take hydroxychloroquine.