alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

‘Toxic risk’: French hospital halts test of Trump-promoted malaria drug to battle COVID-19 over heart failure worries

Royalty-free stock photo ID: 528854752 Silhouette of a doctor walking in a hurry in the hospital corridor.

“The remedy should not be more harmful than the disease itself.”

President Donald Trump’s promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 has drawn criticism from medical experts who say much more work needs to be done before anyone can say it’s effective at stopping the disease.

And now one hospital in France has stopped its testing of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients over worries that the drug poses a “toxic risk” to people’s hearts when taken in combination with other drugs.

French newspaper Nice Matin reports that Nice University Hospital “immediately stopped” its use of hydroxychloroquine in patients who exhibit “major risks” of suffering heart failure due to the drug.

“When hydroxychloroquine is given on its own, the cardiac risk is very low,” explained Émile Ferrari, the chief of the hospital’s cardiology department. “On the other hand, the antibiotic (azithromycin) which is systematically prescribed in combination with hydroxychloroquine in the anti-Covid protocol also favors these anomalies. The cardiological risk is then potentiated… if there are other associated drugs which have the same undesirable effect.”

Ferrari concluded that doctors should be careful and not view hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure.

“It is true that Covid-19 kills, but the remedy should not be more harmful than the disease itself,” he said.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.