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[Thread] With all of the foofurrah over testing #hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for #COVID19, I decided to go looking to see what the evidence was in the medical literature. #abpoli #cdnpoli
For clarity, I am not a doctor, so it is entirely possible that I have misread aspects of these papers. I will happily accept correction from those who are more qualified than I am in these matters. /2
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a well known drug with a long history, and well known but potentially very serious side effects. /3…
So, when we delve into the clinical literature, we are looking for evidence that it could be relevant to treating illness based on the current corona virus causing #COVID19. /4
The following paper contains a couple of key observations about HCQ interactions with viruses in general.…

The key observation here is that while anti-viral activity has been observed in a petri dish, those results have not been reproduced in humans. /5
Then we come to other studies which are specifically examining HCQ.

Note that this study is "in vitro" (in other words in a dish), not clinical trial level - this is important when you consider the meta study I mentioned earlier. /6…
and when we look at it as a prophylactic measure, the evidence for it goes from scant to almost nonexistent. /7…
I could go on through other studies in the PubMed database, but there's an emerging theme here: the evidence of effect is scant (to say the least), and has not been reproduced in human trials. /8
Does this mean that we should be conducting tests to see if HCQ will work on people? Absolutely - but that testing needs to be tempered with a degree of caution since the side effects of HCQ have the potential to be serious, if not deadly. /9
Which means that when tests in other countries run into ethical issues (like harming the patient), studies conducted here should be taking stock of those results and adjusting course. /10…
Similarly, we need to be prepared to quickly call this a dead end if the in vitro studies do not scale to results in vivo. /11
There are other avenues of investigation that also deserve exploration, I am sure. We need to keep doors open. /12
While scientists need to step forward in communicating their results and directions of exploration during this period of pandemic, we also need our politicians to step back and not be favouring one line of research over others. /13 ~fin~
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